Ken Anderson Should Be In Jail
David Benowitz is one of the founding partners of Price Benowitz LLP. He is a respected criminal defense attorney, who is the only DC-barred attorney who has been board certified as a criminal advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Last night, 60 Minutes told the story of Michael Morton. Mr. Morton served 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He was exonerated by DNA testing. A Texas judge found that there was probable cause that the original prosecutor in the case, Ken Anderson, violated Texas law when he withheld police reports indicating that Mr. Morton’s son had witnessed someone else commit the murder and that a neighbor had seen a strange man near Morton’s home at the time of the murder. Mr. Anderson, now a judge, obstructed justice and acted as an accessory after the fact; he aided the actual murderer in escaping arrest. The fact that he is under criminal investigation is almost unheard of. Mr. Anderson’s lawyer seeks to characterize his client’s actions as an unfortunate oversight. Michael Morton responded in a way that should apply to Ted Stevens’s prosecutors and others who have been found to have deliberately hidden evidence that someone is innocent of the crime they’re charged with, “if you or I did something like that, impeded evidence in a [homicide] investigation, we’d be in jail.” That’s where Ken Anderson should be.
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