Texas Man Exonerated After Serving 25 Years for Wife’s Murder


Texas’ top criminal court declared Michael Morton an innocent man Wednesday, wiping out his 1987 conviction and life sentence for the murder of his wife, reports the Austin American-Statesman. The unanimous ruling, which had been anticipated because Morton’s innocence claim was supported by District Attorney John Bradley, came unexpectedly fast — only eight days after Morton was freed from prison after recent DNA tests indicated that another man killed his wife.

Morton is qualified for $80,000 in compensation for each year he was wrongly imprisoned, or about $2 million, with another $2 million annuity that would earn 5 percent interest and pay out monthly. But the rapid ruling may jeopardize Morton’s plans to pursue evidence supporting allegations that then-prosecutor Ken Anderson, now a district judge, improperly suppressed pretrial evidence that pointed to Morton’s innocence. His cause was championed by the Innocence Project of New York and John Raley, a Houston civil lawyer who has represented Morton for free since 2005.

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