Texas Bar to examine wrongful conviction

Oct. 20, 2011 at 8:25 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The State Bar of Texas says it has launched an investigation into the 1987 wrongful conviction of a man released after DNA proved he did not kill his wife.

Michael Morton was freed Oct. 4 after serving almost 25 years in prison. After his lawyers announced DNA tests showed another man killed his wife, Christine, the state's highest criminal court tossed out his murder conviction and life sentence, The Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

The state bar said it is investigating actions taken by trial prosecutors in 1987, and took the rare step of a public announcement because of the attention the case has received.

"We decided, because of the high-profile nature of the thing, that we were going to tell the public that we were looking into it," Maureen Ray, with the bar's office of chief disciplinary counsel, said.

District Judge Ken Anderson, the former district attorney who prosecuted Morton, has filed a motion to quash a subpoena forcing him to testify under oath about allegations he improperly hid evidence favorable to Morton.

Morton's lawyers are set to depose Anderson Oct. 26.

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