Former Williamson County, Tx., District Attorney and Judge Ken Anderson has resigned and agreed to give up his law license and spend ten days in jail for withholding evidence in the Michael Morton case nearly three decades ago, says the Grits for Breakfast blog. Morton spent a quarter-century in jail because of Anderson’s prosecutorial misconduct and his successor John Bradley’s decision to fight DNA testing in the case tooth and nail for years. There will be an independent audit into every case prosecutoed by Anderson and Bradley.
Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project told media he hopes the process will send a message. Mark Godsey of the Huffington Post says it is the first time a prosecutor will have gone to jail for withholding evidence. Blogger Scott Henson concludes, “As justice goes, this outcome represents relatively weak tea compared to the monstrous injustice Michael Morton endured at Anderson’s hands.” Legislation passed this year bearing Morton’s name requires Texas prosecutors to open up their files to defense counsel, a measure that probably would have prevented Morton from being convicted if it were in place back in 1986.