Michael Morton wrongly imprisoned

Imagine what happened to Michael Morton happened because procecutors and law enforcement officials crooked up a case against him and hid evidence that would have identified the real killer.

The case of Michael Morton is an illustration of improper and illegitimate use of justice as explained on the first webpage ‘Preface’. It is something that should not be possible within the justice system.

A small thing is enough to disrupt justice and make it pointless and destructive.

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Michael Morton was wrongly imprisoned for nearly 25 years in Texas for the murder of his wife, Christine Morton. The key points of his case are:

  1. Michael Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, despite there being no physical evidence tying him to the crime.
  2. The prosecution relied heavily on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of a neighbour who claimed to have seen a man resembling Morton near the crime scene.
  3. Morton maintained his innocence throughout the trial and subsequent appeals.
  4. In 2011, new DNA evidence was discovered that conclusively proved Morton’s innocence and implicated another man who had been previously convicted of a similar crime.
  5. It was later revealed that the prosecutor in Morton’s case had withheld key exculpatory evidence from the defence, including statements from the victim’s mother implicating a different suspect, and police reports indicating that a suspicious man had been seen in the neighbourhood on the day of the murder.
  6. Morton was exonerated in 2011 and released from prison after nearly 25 years.
  7. The case sparked an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct and ultimately led to the disbarment and criminal prosecution of the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, who had withheld evidence and deliberately misled the court.
  8. The case also helped to bring attention to broader problems with the criminal justice system, including the prevalence of wrongful convictions and the need for reforms to ensure fair trials and prevent prosecutorial misconduct.

1 Life after prison, Morton meets grandchild

27 jun. 2013

Who is Michael Morton?

“He was just an ordinary, law-abiding citizen, who got clobbered for no good reason,” says 60 Minutes producer Andy Court, who co-produced this week’s story about Morton’s wrongful murder conviction and 25 years in prison.

During the reporting process, Court says, “there were often times I thought of the Bible. I thought of the story of Job– someone who just endures suffering after suffering, and it’s not clear why.”

In 1987, Morton was convicted of beating his wife, Christine, to death. Twenty-five painful years later, he finally cleared his name through DNA evidence, walked out of prison, and began to pick up the pieces of his life.

For the 60 Minutes team who came to know Morton, one of the most emotional parts of this tragic tale was Morton’s estrangement from his son, who was just three at the time of the murder.

“The relationship between Michael Morton and his son, I think, transfixed all of us,” Court told Overtime. “The fact that this little boy saw his mother murdered…and then at the very point when the father needed the son and the son needed the father, they were ripped apart. The son was raised by relatives, no doubt thinking that his father had killed his mother. You can only imagine what it was like for the son to find out, ‘Oh my God, what people told me was wrong. Dad didn’t kill mom. Dad was an innocent man.'”

In this week’s Overtime feature, Court and his team tell us more about Morton, his relationship with his son, and his granddaughter, Christine.

Producer’s update: Since this story aired on 60 Minutes, Michael Morton got married to a woman he met through his church. Last month, Morton watched as legislation he had lobbied for was signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The new law requires prosecutors to disclose investigative information to the defense. It’s called “The Michael Morton Act.”

2 Michael Morton is a free man – 5 pm News

5 okt. 2011

Thirty-two years old when convicted, Michael Morton is now 57.
Judge Sid Harle released him in less than 30 minutes from the time he set foot into the courtroom.

3 Attorney: Morton freedom is a miracle

11 feb. 2012

Attorney: Morton freedom is a miracle

4 An Unreal Dream

12 mrt. 2013

Documentary premiers on Michael Morton’s life

5 Morton memoir details injustice, new life

Back to menu          A beautiful, wonderful story

4 jul. 2014

Michael Morton’s life among the trees on an East Texas lake is a little slice of Heaven now, but his new memoir, ‘Getting Life,’ details a 25-year Hell in heartbreaking detail.

6 HCCLA Reasonable Doubt – John Raley (Michael Morton)

Back to menu          A beautiful, wonderful story

10 apr. 2015

HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt is a TV show produced by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers
Association (HCCLA). HCCLA is the largest local criminal defense bar in the country and is comprised of over 800 criminal defense attorneys. The show features relevant topics and guests from the criminal justice community. We broadcast LIVE every Thursday from 8-9p CST so send in suggestions & questions via Facebook or Twitter. @hccla_tv.

Michael Morton and his mother, Patricia Morton, in October after a judge announced him free on bond after nearly 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.

7 Little Girl Gives Away Mom’s Car

15 jun. 2020

Are you supposed to scold the kid for being so incredibly stupid or do you pat yourself on the back for raising someone so generous?
Welcome to the world-famous Just for Laughs Gags, we’ve been playing silly pranks on unsuspecting people in public and capturing hilarious reactions with hidden cameras.

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Smell A Rat

An Unreal Dream

Pitfalls of Justice

Tough Questions

Toxic Culture