blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: Weekend Reading (As I Sit In The Hills Of Arkansas)

11.24.2012

Weekend Reading (As I Sit In The Hills Of Arkansas)



Texas Monthly has just completed a two part article on the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton out of Williamson County. I thought I knew this case well but it is more shocking than I even realized. It has everything: A good-old-boy know-it-all former Texas Ranger turned County Sheriff, overzealous and perhaps even crooked prosecutors, and a CSI turn of events that no one would believe.

It is a must read for anyone interested in criminal justice. More importantly, it is a must read for anyone whoever sits on a jury in the future.

Part One.
Part Two.

In typical Texas Monthly fashion, they are long. But they are also fantastic. (The articles are free online but there might be a very quick and easy registration first. It is more than worth it.)

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Read dreams of Ada when you are done.

Anonymous said...

Then read Grishsham's The Innocent Man.


It'll make you want to move to southern Oklahoma.
We don't don't put up with drug trash around here.

BTW....grishams a douche. It was probably a good idea he didn't stick around long.

Anonymous said...

I read both articles. I would have thought it implausible if it were a work of fiction. It is a heartbreaking story.

Anonymous said...

Blame Obama.

Anonymous said...

Why Obama?

We all know bush created every evil.

Anonymous said...

Bush caused this young, innocent man who had absolutely NOTHING to do with the death of his wife to be incarcerated.

Anonymous said...

Many times we find that the DNA identified as someone other than the incarcerated shows years later. That way no one recalls the visit the week before of the new suspect.

It's a new ploy the innocence project is using to release the murderers.

Anonymous said...

3:16

?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. 3:18, not 3:16,

?

Anonymous said...

4:20

?!

Anonymous said...

4:20- what 3:18 is saying is that the new-found DNA that ultimately exhonerates the murderer is DNA that was there prior to the murder being committed.
I.e. the plumbers DNA was found to have been in the house 20 years later, however, no one remembers why he was in the house so the plumber must be the killer....instead of the guy who's been in prison.

The innocence project picks cases that can pin new-found DNA on an unsuspecting guy who can't remember why he was in the house.

It's a great way to erode our jury system and help advance a slap-on-wrist mentality.

Anonymous said...

8:15,

In fact, many people expect the innocence project to begin to take heat in the near future on this very thing.

Anonymous said...

If juries were ever allowed to hear the entire story, rather than what judges only allow, there might be more fair outcomes anyway.

Anonymous said...

8:15, you are delusional. The notion you are putting forth is nothing less than right-wing conspiracy nonsense to undermine the credibility of an organization that you IMAGINE to have a 'liberal' agenda. These cases provide a valuable service in educating the public about the abuses that occur due to corruption of our justice system which are occasionally inflicted by so-called 'law enforcement'.

Conservative values do not demand blind faith in 'our justice system'. Rather, they call for suspicion of power. Blind, unquestioning faith is the toll of the seducers ... on both sides of the fence.

Truth is never the enemy.

Anonymous said...

A conspiracy to get murderers out of jail. Who benefits from that? You people need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Ron Williamson played a much bigger role in Debbie sue's deaths that Barry scheck wants you to believe.

Anonymous said...

"As you sit in the hills of Arkansas". Nice way of explaining yourself Skippy. We all know what a bear does in the woods.

Anonymous said...

8:15 PM -- Really?

Anonymous said...

I hate that any evidence can be withheld by the DA. That has never made sense to me. The DA may pay dearly for it too. This case is why I would never vote for the death penalty. And, shame on the in laws for believing the sheriff over what the 3 year old son had to say. Very very sad story. Twenty five years in jail. Only good thing is he got $2 million from the state. He missed so much life with his family. Problem is a jurist has to follow the rules...but how can you make the right decision if you don't have all the evidence...that is disturbing. And, I hate those young DA's looking for high profile cases to win or a position to win, not to mention closed minded, smart ass sheriffs (btw we don't have one of those). That is why this case happened the way it did :(

Anonymous said...

It was newly found evidence because it was withheld in the first place. Stupid sheriff & DA. The person who killed her is up for a trial in January. According to evidence real killer also killed another woman to years later in 1988, she has a 3 year old child in the house too. Freaking retarded people.

Anonymous said...

You got it wrong. It is a must read for smart ass DA's. Serving on a jury, you can only make a decision on evidence shown. If you don't get the full story, you are bound by the law to prossibly make the wrong decision. I hope all DA's read this cause the DA in this case is ansering to his actions now; and, I hope it changes some laws about evidence. That Wood guy should have been screaming out to someone.

Anonymous said...

As a defense attorney, you should be very deligent in finding all evidence. It should be illigal to withhold any evidence on either side.

Anonymous said...

9:35- no.
8:15-yes

Anonymous said...

Amazing that the law-and-order bunch supports these convictions. Every time you convict an innocent individual, then the real culprit stays free. The DA's goal should be proper convictions - not just quick conviction of whomever the cops can arrest. This DA became a judge and presided over how many cases? He and the sheriff should be properly convicted of their crimes and sent to prison.
These self-righteous law enforcers turn my stomach.

Anonymous said...

There are bad DA's ... And bad cops, and bad defense attorneys, and bad judges. Guess what people ... The system is pretty much the same as any other profession. You all paint with too broad a brush when you condemn the whole system and everyone in it. Those of us who strive to do it honestly criticize those in the profession just as much as you do.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the entire article. Yes, it was long. But as with most insightful articles in TM, it was well written.

My take:

As a public official, if it is proven that you broke the rules (law) and that cost someone 25 years of his life, then 25 years of yours are forfeited as a minimum penalty. Or better yet, you have the option to shoot yourself in the head and leave all of your assets to the aggrieved.

Most would probably choose the latter. That's the weight of incarceration.

Anonymous said...

Or hand youself.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 8:06

Seymore said...

My attorney in Williamson county was told by the DA that the only important thing was the possibility of a conviction. I had documented evidence of me not being guilty. When the DA did not have a case she asked for a financial settlement to drop the suit 15 months later.

Anonymous said...

Nobody in Wise County will put down their latest issue of 4 Wheelin' to read Texas Monthly.....

Anonymous said...

I blame MTV