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Michael Morton Cleared, Seeks Inquiry

Photo by Callie Richmond/Courtesy of The Texas Tribune. Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison.

Michael Morton's attorneys today presented a 138-page report that asked the court to investigate the lead prosecutor, Ken Anderson, who sent Morton to prison for nearly 25 years for the murder of his wife. Morton's attorneys said the State Bar of Texas and the state's judicial ethics commission should consider punishment against Anderson, who was the Williamson County District Attorney at the time, for prosecutorial misconduct during trial.

Morton was convicted of murdering his wife in 1987 and spent 25 years behind bars before he was exonerated by DNA evidence in October.

Update: 3:00 p.m.

Current Williamson County D.A., John Bradley, released a statement this afternoon that said,

The report does request that a court of inquiry be initiated against former District Attorney Ken Anderson. A court of inquiry is a legal process by which a judge may investigate an allegation of wrongdoing that has been alleged by submission of a detailed affidavit by a concerned person. Should any additional hearings be held in connection with Morton’s request for a court of inquiry, a special prosecutor will likely be appointed, as Bradley and his office could be called as witnesses to some of the information collected against Anderson.

Bradley, who is running for re-election, also added,

“Nonetheless, I deeply regret the delays that occurred in reaching this point today. I join Judge Harle in his expression of regret that Michael Morton was wrongfully convicted. We all have learned valuable lessons about how the pursuit of justice sometimes requires the reconsideration of what originally seems were reasonable choices.”

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.