Thursday, September 26, 2013

What goes around sometimes comes around

"On behalf of the citizens of Texas, I extend my appreciation and gratitude for your service to the State of Texas and wish you all the best in your future endeavors." -- Gov. Rick Perry's response to Ken Anderson's resignation letter
Michael Morton spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He was convicted due, in part, to the actions of then-Williamson County prosecutor Ken Anderson. He withheld evidence and lied to the court when questioned about it.

In 1995 the State Bar of Texas named him prosecutor of the year. Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to the bench in 2002.

Mr. Anderson is disciplinary action from the State Bar for his actions in the Morton matter. He is also facing criminal charges for tampering with evidence and government records.

On Tuesday Ken Anderson resigned.

There is nothing that can happen to Mr. Anderson that will approximate the injustice suffered by Michael Morton. Now I have no belief in this notion that the universe has some sort of moral arc. I think things are as they are. I don't think that Mr. Anderson is suffering from an attack of some very bad karma for what he did.

Mr. Anderson acted, at best, unethically and, at worse, criminally. I am certain that he castigated defendants in front of his bench for making excuses and refusing to accept responsibility for their actions. Now, however, the shoe is on the other foot.

And what does the Governor's response say about the Fair Haired One's grasp of the law? Ken Anderson betrayed the very oath he took when he was sworn in as an attorney. Not only did he care more about obtaining a conviction than seeing justice done - he continued to prevent justice from being done for decades. So don't speak on my behalf, Mr. Perry. Don't presume that I will stand in awe of Mr. Anderson's accomplishments as a prosecutor and as a judge. The man is a black stain upon our criminal (in)justice system.

If not for the tireless efforts of attorneys like John Raley and Nina Morrison, Mr. Morton would still be in prison and the dirty, rotten secrets of the Williamson County Courthouse would never have been revealed. More importantly, if not for those very efforts, Ken Anderson would continue to sit on the bench and disgrace our criminal (in)justice system further.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Ken.

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