Another DNA Exoneration in Texas

Another DNA Exoneration in Texas October 6, 2011

Yet another man convicted of a heinous crime in Texas is proven innocent by DNA evidence and freed after more than two decades in prison.

Texas prosecutors agreed Monday to release an Austin man sentenced to life in prison in the 1986 beating death of his wife in 1986 after new DNA tests showed another man was likely responsible…

Morton was convicted on circumstantial evidence and sentenced to life in prison for his wife’s August 1986 beating death. But new DNA tests done on a bandana found near Morton’s home found blood from his wife and a California felon.

And guess who convicted him? John Bradley, Rick Perry’s designated DA to prevent any more false convictions from being discovered and rectified:

Michael Morton’s case will likely raise more questions about Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, a Gov. Rick Perry appointee whose tenure on the Texas Forensic Science Commission has been controversial. Bradley has been critical of the commission’s investigation of the Cameron Todd Willingham case. Willingham was executed in 2004 after being convicted of arson in the deaths of his three children, but experts have concluded the forensic science in the case was faulty.

The Innocence Project, a New York-based organization that specializes in using DNA testing to overturn wrongful convictions, has accused Bradley of suppressing evidence that would have helped clear Morton…

The Innocence Project has claimed in court documents that Bradley, who has been the county’s DA since 2001, suppressed evidence that strengthened Morton’s case during the DNA proceedings. That evidence – a transcript of a police interview indicating that Morton’s 3-year-old son said the attacker was not his father – was ultimately obtained by the Innocence Project through a request under the Texas Public Information Act.

But don’t you worry your handsome little head over it, Gov. Perry. I’m sure it’s just an isolated case, you know, like the dozens of others in your state. And even though DNA evidence exists in less than 2% of all criminal cases, I’m sure that no one else who was convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence could possibly have been falsely imprisoned for 25 years. Move along, nothing to see here.

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