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(My San Antonio)   If you're a prosecutor in Texas, and you hide DNA evidence to convict an innocent man of murdering his wife allowing the actual murderer to go free, then we'll promote you to Judge   (mysanantonio.com) divider line 39
    More: Asinine, justices, DNA evidence, Texas, DNA  
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11342 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Feb 2013 at 12:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-16 09:32:31 AM  
5 votes:
FTFA: "I think we saw someone who is still struggling with denial and anger, a man who has spent at least three decades in power who for the first time is having to answer for his actions."

I think the damage he has done over his entire career will be hard to quantify.  So lets go ahead and give him the death penalty.  Make an example of him like he has done so many times in the past.
2013-02-16 09:32:12 AM  
4 votes:
Its a shame that one cannot get the chair for ruining lives like this.

Why is this farker not behind bars yet?
2013-02-16 09:24:24 AM  
4 votes:
it is about time this a**hole gets his.

he has been screwing people since the 70's
2013-02-16 12:56:39 PM  
3 votes:
Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.
2013-02-16 12:54:13 PM  
3 votes:

MFAWG: Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.


Give him a break. Acts of obstruction tend to blend together after a few years.
2013-02-16 10:44:08 AM  
3 votes:

tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa I'm trolling again.


Yup, it does.
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-02-16 09:28:43 AM  
3 votes:
Is there anything Texas CAN'T f*ck up?
2013-02-16 04:45:35 PM  
2 votes:
Go into an major DA's offices and tucked away out of public view but prominent enough that employees can find it, you will see "the board".  Dallas county has one.  Tarrant does too.  "The board" is usually a giant whiteboard with each prosecutor's name listed on it.  Next to each name is their vital statistics such as wins, losses, trials, pleas, etc.

This manner of public accolades and shame serves to drive home one point and one point only:  Winning isn't everything, it's the *only* thing.
2013-02-16 01:47:20 PM  
2 votes:
In Texas the prosecution is not required to disclose the police report, statements collected by the police, etc.

That seems to be the biggest problem here.

The Supreme Court's Brady decision would mandate disclosure of 'exculpatory' evidence, but as we see in this article, it's hard to enforce because the defense has to know it's exculpatory in order to make a motion for its disclosure.

The real problem here isn't the prosecutor, as convenient of a scapegoat as he is. The problem is that the system isn't set up for justice as the end value, it's been twisted into this notion of equalized fairness for the prosecution, which is utter nonsense. The entire DA file should be disclosed to the defense. That means less convictions, but that's more just than a system predicated on the equality of both sides where rampant injustice exists.

As well, conviction rates should be seen as some reflection of the inherent injustice of the system. In the federal courts the conviction rate is 93%. Many state courts are similar. There's been too much of a swing to the state in criminal defense jurisprudence. For example, your effective fourth amendment rights in the past 40 years has gone from something that was incredibly complex, to what is now an afterthought. These are pretty radical changes.

And they're not 'republican' or 'democrat' or any specific labels. It's not a directly partisan issue, so don't try to reduce it to that. The relationship of the citizen to the state is becoming very twisted and disordered. Injustices like this will only continue, because the way the system is evolving encourages more like it.
2013-02-16 12:57:57 PM  
2 votes:
If I read the article correctly, he didn't cover up DNA, he covered up exculpatory evidence that there was a different man seen in the area at the time.

He ought to be convicted just for that scuba-gear-as-disguise theory. What's good here is that he's actually being tried on his crap. The prosecutors in the 1980s satanic cult child abuse hysteria, like the McMartin case, should have gotten the same. But I bet if he's convicted he'll get some slap on the wrist such as one day of jail time, like that execrable piece of human garbage, Mike Nifong.
2013-02-16 10:00:41 AM  
2 votes:
Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.
2013-02-17 01:03:08 AM  
1 votes:

Champion of the Sun: Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment.


I really like this idea.  When an attorney is admitted to the bar in a given state, his/her name goes on a list of candidates for "prosecutor duty," just as ordinary citizens must be available for jury service.

Same story for public defenders.  If you can't afford to retain your own attorney, one is randomly assigned to you from a pool that includes every lawyer in the area.

Why doesn't it already work this way?
2013-02-16 08:34:43 PM  
1 votes:

Lt_Silvio: Article is crap


So he probably disclosed those reports and the defense attorney just ignored two different eye witnesses that would've cleared his client?  That's what you're going with?
2013-02-16 08:22:37 PM  
1 votes:
Article is crap.

First of all, the article makes it seem like Ken Anderson withheld important DNA evidence that later came to light and proved the innocence of the man originally convicted. But back when this guy was prosecuted, there was no such thing as DNA evidence. Ken Anderson would have no way of being able to tell whose blood was on the bandana.

What the former attorneys of the man convicted actually accused Ken Anderson of was not disclosing a report that a neighbor saw a suspicious man nearby the crime scene and a supplemental police report where the defendant's mother-in-law told the police that her three year old grandson witnessed the murder and told her a monster did it. It looks like Ken Anderson responded to these accusations by saying he didn't remember the details of a case he tried over twenty years ago but he believed if he had received the supplement, he must have disclosed it. Apparently whoever was judging the dispute ended up believing Ken Anderson over the former attorneys and he was cleared of misconduct.

I don't think that is unreasonable. Are you going to remember the exact details of some project you worked on twenty years ago? Sure, it involved a murder, but for someone like Ken Anderson, a five day murder trial was probably fairly routine. For the same reason, I would be skeptical if the defense attorneys from that case testified with certainty that they never received the supplement. Neither of these are smoking gun pieces of evidence. Sure, a suspicious man seen nearby the scene casts some doubt, but it is the sort of detail that is not going to be particularly memorable. Keep in mind that during a murder investigation, police are going to be asking everyone around the area if they saw anything suspicious.  The other supplemental report may have been disregarded entirely by the defense attorneys on the grounds that the three year old witness would have been unreliable or a risk to the defense.

It would not really be surprising that when a defense attorney opens his files from a five day long trial that occurred twenty five years ago, it might be missing a police report or two. The newspaper seems to take the position that the former district attorney was so overzealous that he obviously cast justice aside by concealing documents just so he could win a trial. Those are serious accusations and I would think that normally when someone makes a serious accusation like that, we apply apply the standard of innocent until proven guilty. I think this applies especially in this case given the fact that there was a contested, under oath hearing regarding this dispute and whoever presided over it cleared Ken Anderson of misconduct.

I don't like hearing about people who were convicted and imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit and I understand when it happens, we want to look for people to blame. The prosecutor is an obvious target but I think it is wrong to just automatically place all the blame on him or place the burden on him to explain, in retrospect, all of the ways he could have done something differently 25 years ago. The prosecutor wasn't the only person responsible for the guilty verdict, either the defense attorneys failed to raise any reasonable doubts or if they did, the jury did not reach the correct verdict.
2013-02-16 07:17:10 PM  
1 votes:
I grew up in Williamson County and have witnessed the railroading of suspects my entire life.  Williamson county has long held the reputation of a place of ridiculous conduct by its uneducated Sherrif's deputies and its overzealous, narcissistic prsecutors.  It gives me great schadenfreude knowing Ken Anderson's life is finally getting what he has so certainly earned it.

He sent one of my best friends to prison for 15 years for having 20 hits of acid when we were juniors in high school. This man and those who've worked with and for him have never had any qualms about ruining the lives of those and the families of people who came into his courtroom. For this pile of pig excrement to complain he has had to spend his life savings defending these accusations truly shows his colors.  He "earned" his life savings by stealing many peoples' lives. May the man go to prison, die from ass-cancer 26 years after and burn in hell
2013-02-16 07:00:25 PM  
1 votes:

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american:

That's some authentic frontier gibberish and a stunning display of innumeracy.
In theory it's be great to have one juror stand up to injustice.  I'd love if that were the case.  However, what would actually happen in the real world is that many guilty people would go free.  Really guilty people, who are guilty of really bad crimes.  If some anti-government nutjob kills a state worker, and they get put on trial with a jury full of Texans, nullification would get him off on the charge.  It's a dangerous tool, which is why no serious legal scholar supports it.  It's way too easy to abuse.  This isn't ten guilty going free instead of one innocent going to jail, it's more like thousands of guilty going free, and maybe an innocent person going to jail.  And if a juror sees misconduct by a prosecutor, wouldn't the rest of the jury see it too?  I don't think you understand how this works.


I enjoy your new legal definitions. People are now "really guilty" and guilty of "really bad crimes" as opposed to "somewhat guilty" and "kind of bad crimes"

I also enjoy your understanding of the jury process, that they all act in concert and as one voice. Nullification would just "get him off on the charge" because Texans love nutjobs. Great logic. It's so much better that innocent people go to jail, because, hey, this abstract legal threat to potential government workers is more important.

You've identified one possible minute obscure problem and you use it to invalidate the entire spectrum of actual moral wrongs currently existing. Three million people in prison, and your answer is a form of "tough shiat" to people who get bowled over by prosecutors, and then their juries are lied to about their actual abilities and authority.

One of the many problems is that each jury decision is taken out of context to the rest of the case. Guilt is determined. Punishment is assessed. And yet many juries want to hear what the range of punishment might be, they want to know the consequences of their actions. Yet that's purposefully denied to them. Look at the abuse of the "three strikes and your out" systems, where minor infractions can result in enormous consequences, and all a jury knows is the simple matter put before them. Our system is throwing people into prison and it's not the prejudice of Texans or simply a 'law and order' mentality as you suggest and build up a straw man about, it's the system itself that removes important and material context from jury decision-making. If jurors feel pressured to render a decision, they ought to have this option as well.

You say it's a dangerous tool, but it's a dangerous situation we're in where people are committing numerous felonies a day, where prosecutors purposefully overcharge defendants, where public defender offices are used to process people through the system instead of giving them any meaningful right to indigent counsel. The danger is from the tools being used by this system to imprison millions. And the secondary danger is from the state sycophants who find ways to justify the actions by the state to unjustly imprison people.

Since prosecutors won't abide by even the most minimal pro-defendant rights, because Brady is effectively unenforceable, nullification is an important tool to counter this dangerous system.

And yes, part of our system is that guilty, and even "really guilty" people might go free. Because they deserve due process. They deserve a fair hearing. And the balance of those rights is tilted in their favor, not those of the state.

It's truly disgusting and reprehensible that you'd justify imprisoning the innocent.


Again, if trolling, 9/10, jimmies sufficiently rustled.
2013-02-16 04:13:35 PM  
1 votes:
Rough timeline for those not familiar:

1986 - Christine Morton murdered. Lead investigator zeroes in on Michael Morton and won't consider or follow up on other possibilities.
1987 - Ken Anderson prosecutes Michael Morton and hides evidence (doesn't put lead investigator on the stand and more damningly, doesn't turn over the notes about these items to the judge as ordered to), such as the witness account from the three year old boy, the witness statements from neighbors about a green van and a man walking into the woods, and the fact that Christine's credit card was used two days after the murder. I think that the defense had access to the bandana but without DNA testing or the other information it wasn't particularly relevant.
1988 - Debra Baker murdered by the same person who murdered Christine.
2002 - Ken Anderson becomes district judge and John Bradley becomes DA.
2005 - Innocence Project/Michael Morton try to get access to other evidence and get the bandana DNA tested. John Bradley blocks efforts for five years.
2011 - Michael Morton declared innocent. Real killer is found.
2012 - John Bradley loses re-election. Inquiry process starts for Ken Anderson.
2013-02-16 03:33:36 PM  
1 votes:
When on a jury don't even listen to the "judges instructions"-you are the jury not him or her.
And on really stupid unjust laws don't hesitate to educate the other jurors on jury nullification.
Per the federalist papers our country's constitution was founded on it truly is our last line of defense for unjust laws.

/ not a wacko
// what right is right and what is wrong is wrong
/// as a jury foreman judge was pissed when mentioned his instructions (opinion) really doesn't matter
    to our decision.
//// research jury nullification
2013-02-16 02:20:05 PM  
1 votes:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Immunitiy is invoked to get shiat dismissed before the trial stage. If he's already at the trial stage, I think that means immunity doesn't apply. I don't think it can be asserted as a defense once you are in trial, only as a claim to get a summary judgment or dismissal in your favor. Also, immunity generally only applies so long as your are actin in accordance with established laws or agency rules, not acting in direct contravention of them, such as what is alleged in this case, inentional conealment of exculpatory evidence.


It's a grant of immunity from civil damages, I'm wondering if this action based on a criminal? charge is enough to overcome that immunity or if he needs to be retried again.  The article isn't great on what exactly is being done at this trial.  It's a suit brought by the state bar, is it an action to disbar him?  Criminal charges? what?

Giant Clown Shoe: They are middling students, out shined by their peers, spectacular only in their ability to fill out the back of the large classroom.


Me and my friends at the back of the room are all doing criminal appointments and doc review.  The future prosecutors were all sitting in the front of the class gunning.
2013-02-16 02:05:54 PM  
1 votes:

quiet_american: HindiDiscoMonster: FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 420x250]


People love hating on defense attorneys, but let's look at what that person gets to do: make arguments.

I realize I should just let the jokes slide, but it's really a negative social development that we act like defense attorneys are scum.

These people take someone accused of something and are the only person who gets to advocate on their behalf. Judges are usually former prosecutors. The state has these enormous resources at their disposal. There's this enormous overwhelming system suffocating a defendant, and whats a defense attorney, what role do they have? Making appeals to the judge, making arguments on their behalf, pointing out logic and fairness and common sense.

Only because we have this law-and-order bullshiat presumption that we can divine like medieval kings guilt and innocence do we hate defense attorneys. Because you can never truly know what happened, they're the most important piece of the system that prevents it from being merely a pipeline to prison, which it already is in many places.


yes... i absolutely agree... you should let the jokes slide.
2013-02-16 01:59:41 PM  
1 votes:

HindiDiscoMonster: FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 420x250]



People love hating on defense attorneys, but let's look at what that person gets to do: make arguments.

I realize I should just let the jokes slide, but it's really a negative social development that we act like defense attorneys are scum.

These people take someone accused of something and are the only person who gets to advocate on their behalf. Judges are usually former prosecutors. The state has these enormous resources at their disposal. There's this enormous overwhelming system suffocating a defendant, and whats a defense attorney, what role do they have? Making appeals to the judge, making arguments on their behalf, pointing out logic and fairness and common sense.

Only because we have this law-and-order bullshiat presumption that we can divine like medieval kings guilt and innocence do we hate defense attorneys. Because you can never truly know what happened, they're the most important piece of the system that prevents it from being merely a pipeline to prison, which it already is in many places.
2013-02-16 01:31:11 PM  
1 votes:

PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.


And in law school you can tell who is going to gravitate to the States Attorney's Office.  They are middling students, out shined by their peers, spectacular only in their ability to fill out the back of the large classroom. And after no law review or moot court having no chance of getting an offer from any firm they become even more bitter, angry and racist than they were before their 1st Crim Pro 1 class.

You know what made most of the guys in high school who became cops different from you?  It's the same in law school.  The dumb and mean become prosecutors
2013-02-16 01:22:43 PM  
1 votes:

Felgraf: Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.

The case you're remembering is worse than that.

If it's the case I'm thinking of, it was a  *juvie court*. He was sentencing CHILDREN to prison terms in a juvie facility in exchange for kickbacks. He wasn't just ruining the lives of adults, he was destroying families and imprisoning kids *during formative years*.


This was it I believe. Simply disgusting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal
2013-02-16 01:01:05 PM  
1 votes:

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.


The case you're remembering is worse than that.

If it's the case I'm thinking of, it was a  *juvie court*. He was sentencing CHILDREN to prison terms in a juvie facility in exchange for kickbacks. He wasn't just ruining the lives of adults, he was destroying families and imprisoning kids *during formative years*.
2013-02-16 01:00:55 PM  
1 votes:

ZAZ: Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.


This is BEYOND perjury.
2013-02-16 01:00:48 PM  
1 votes:

MFAWG: Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.


It only made his career, and he has recounted it as one of the seminal moments... and he's previously defended his handling of it.  But it's easy to just "forget" these things when you need to.
2013-02-16 12:57:55 PM  
1 votes:

DubyaHater: So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?


0/10
2013-02-16 12:48:24 PM  
1 votes:

Jekylman: Hmmm, Texas?  *checks article*  Ayyyyyup, Texas.


Or just read the 6th word in the headline.
2013-02-16 12:46:04 PM  
1 votes:
Yeah, pretty clearly just another case of prosecutorial misconduct, and a serious one. If this guy really wasn't aware that he was 'making mistakes', he's not merely incompetent as an attorney but inescapably not a competent adult. He shouldn't have a driver's license, much less hold a public office.
2013-02-16 12:43:33 PM  
1 votes:
As long as we have an adversarial system, prosecutors should be able to serve for only a few years, and prevented from holding any other office once they're done. They can go back to hanging a shingle out, but can't use their "record" in advertising, etc.
2013-02-16 12:39:25 PM  
1 votes:

PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.


Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.
2013-02-16 12:38:14 PM  
1 votes:
Monsters are real. And the monsters are us.
2013-02-16 11:32:54 AM  
1 votes:

clancifer: tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa

We didn't?  Please proceed.

/this should be fun


Look, if we let innocent people out of jail for crimes they didn't commit, we're just telling the criminals that they can do whatever they want.  THIS IS ALL OBAMA'S FAULT.  HE'S PUTTING US IN CAMPS.

/in case tpoc doesn't back, I decided to paraphrase the derp
2013-02-16 10:07:13 AM  
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's all about the convictions


Especially in TFA:  Williamson County
2013-02-16 09:54:57 AM  
1 votes:
I think Penn and Teller said it best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YXEcvXARM8
2013-02-16 09:39:02 AM  
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's all about the convictions


Yep, the more notches you get on your belt, the better chance you have of being elected to public office. And God forbid if you're an innocent person and you happen to get in their way when they need to show the public just how tough on crime they are.
2013-02-16 09:32:55 AM  
1 votes:

NFA: Is there anything Texas CAN'T f*ck up?


Steak

There aint nothing better than a nice Texas Steak
2013-02-16 09:31:40 AM  
1 votes:
It's all about the convictions

/justice gonna get raped
2013-02-16 09:29:29 AM  
1 votes:
I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.
 
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