"It shall be the primary duty of [ the prosecutor ] not to convict, but to see that Justice is done. They shall not suppress facts or secrete witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused."
- Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 2.01
So many people have tracked the story of Michael Morton and video after video have been posted on the Internet, but the question that comes to my mind is what will happen to the players in the Michael Morton case… those who acted as prosecutors then, and the current Williamson County District Attorney who fought so hard to prevent the Innocence Project from reopening the case?
One of the first videos to break this story:
The good news is that Michael Morton is now free. He is out of prison, but that does not in any way repair the relationship with his son, the time lost with family, the career he could have developed. In fact, what can be done to give him back his life? I cannot imagine having lost that much of my life, especially for a crime I did not commit. Sadly, the only way our society has to rebuild someone is to pay them money, but even that seems too little, too late.
All in all, the best outcome will be for any of those who had a hand in this case to resign any current positions they currently hold. They should give up their positions immediately. And while I agree that John Bradley did not have a direct hand in the original prosecution of the case, no justification exists for not opening the file and sharing any information the Innocence Project or any other attorney sought in this investigation.
Afterall, if the prosecution has a good case, why do they often hide the file behind closed, locked doors and avail themselves of revealing as little information as possible. As a criminal defense attorney, that makes me more suspicious of a case when I am not allowed to fully investigate and review what the State has against a client. As a prosecutor in 2002-2003, I was happy to open my file and allow defense attorney’s to copy anything but direct victim information and of course, criminal histories. And, as a Williamson County Deputy Sheriff in 2005-2008, I wanted to know the full story and never sought to make an arrest to just get a case closed… the impact is far too damaging.
All in all, Mr. Bradley and the other players should well remember the duty cited above and resign their current positions. Afterall, it is better for a guilty person to avoid conviction and go free than for a single innocent person to ever spend 1 minute in jail…
If John Bradley, Ken Anderson, and anyone else currently in an elected position are unwilling to step down and resign their positions, who will file to run against them? Afterall, both hold elected positions and the citizens of Williamson County surely do not want this sort of reputation hanging over their heads.