Guest Post By Robb Fickman

Since Robb Fickman seems to have abandoned The “Meaning” of America, I asked for and received his permission to republish here his thoughts about Ken Anderson’s ten-day sentence for hiding exculpatory evidence to keep Michael Morton in prison for twenty-five years:

1. As has been repeatedly noted by John Raley and the Innocence Project, Anderson has never apologized to Michael Morton for Anderson’s conduct.  He apologized for what the “system”did.

He has accepted no personal responsibility for his  actions.

2. Anderson’s remorse has been for himself.  That’s right, He testified and had the audacity to compare his going through The Court of Inquiry to Michael Morton’s 25 years in prison.

3. Anderson built a career while Michael served 25 years. The real killer stayed on the loose and he murdered a woman in Austin thanks to Anderson’s prosecution of an innocent man.

4. If any of our clients locked  someone in a cage for 25 years what do you think the offer would be? Try life.

While historic & important, Anderson’s 10 days trivializes his abandonment of his duty and his crimes.

No DA will be deterred by this 10 day sentence. Hell, some of them would do 10 days to win a big case. The punishment  does not fit the crime.

5. I understand empathy for Anderson’s family. I do not  understand any of the empathy expressed for Anderson. He is embarrassed, upset, bothered? Who gives a shit. The sorry fucker robbed a fellow human being of 25 years and I am supposed to have empathy cause he hurts inside?

My empathy is for Michael Morton and his family. My empathy is for the Austin family that lost their relative to the same psycho that Murdered Michael’s wife.

I have no Empathy for Anderson. He was entrusted by the public to do justice.

He violated that public trust. He deliberately hid  evidence.

Why????!? Why did he hide it???

To win a conviction, he hid the very evidence that would have helped establish the defense.

Who does that? A person without a conscience. The same kind of person who never apologizes. Anderson.

6. Kevin Fine and I defended an IAD cop once. He kidnapped a woman and held her for ransom for about 27 hours. He was caught. The woman was OK.

DAs offered him 45-50 years. He confessed three times. He pled guilty to a jury and expressed remorse. The DA held up our clients badge in argument and said, ” The worst criminals are those with badges.” The jury gave him 27 years. I think it was a year for every hour the woman had been kidnapped.

Michael Morton was kidnapped & locked in a cage by Anderson. Michael was locked in that cage for 219,000 hours. Using our jury’s math, Anderson’s sentence should be life in prison. Nothing less.

7.  The legislature must make Anderson’s conduct punishable by serious pen time. And as in murder, there can be no statute of limitations.

The “Thing called Senator Huffman” will fight this. The Texas County and District Attorneys Association will fight it. But we must pass new laws. Until rogue prosecutors face the prospect of real punishment, they will not be deterred from abusing the good citizens of Texas.

Fuck Ken Anderson. Fuck Sebesta. Fuck any DA who would violate his ethical duties and the law to secure a conviction.

(offense intended)

Robb

If Ken Anderson hadn’t cheated, the police might have looked beyond Michael Morton for Morton’s wife’s killer. If they had, they might have looked at Mark Norwood, Morton’s wife’s killer, before he murdered Debra Masters Baker in 1988.

Baker’s famliy gets to grieve her for the rest of their lives; Ken Anderson gets to retire with his full public pension.

The baseline loss of freedom for a prosecutor who conceals evidence to convict a factually innocent man should be the freedom that he stole from the defendant: here, twenty-five years; if there is a Hell, Ken Anderson will be there sooner than that.

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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11 Responses to Guest Post By Robb Fickman

  1. Mike Paar says:

    While I agree with every single word written, I’d like to point out that there were many other actors involved in Morton’s case who are just as guilty as Anderson. A high-profile murder case like this doesn’t make it to the DA’s office unless several police officers and detectives have also done so backhanded investigating. The sheriff’s detective who spoke with Morton’s wife’s mom as she recounted a talk she had with Morton’s 3-year-old son in which the young boy said he saw a “monster” — who was not his father — kill his mom, does he not share in the blame? And what of the 2nd and 3rd chair assistants who no doubt had read the file and saw the statement? Anderson absolutely did his part to send an innocent man to prison, but he had accomplices who should be held accountable, too.

    • Mike Paar says:

      BTW, here’s a link to the NY Times article about the case. Well worth a couple of minutes to read: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/us/exonerated-in-wifes-killing-father-renews-bonds-with-son.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

    • Ryan Paige says:

      Certainly others share blame, including Sheriff Boutwell who suspected Morton to the exclusion of all others from the start, but the officers who took the statements put them in the file. It was up to Anderson to turn those files over during discovery (or at any time in the quarter century since).

      We don’t know whether those officers knew that the evidence hadn’t been turned over or that they knew that there was a legal and ethical requirement to do so (I don’t know how well versed the average Williamson County sheriff’s deputy in Brady v. Maryland was at the time).

      If Boutwell were still alive, I’d say go after him, too. The other officers involved? Maybe (I do think there’s a possibility of some other misconduct at the sheriff’s office in the case, but that would need to be investigated, and it doesn’t look like there’s much of an appetite to do that…)

  2. Robb Fickman says:

    Mark- Thank you for publishing. I have been on hiatus and I have been thinking, which I try to avoid.I have not abandoned ” The Meaning of America”, and will be up and running next week.

    I am all for locking up every official who knowingly
    Played a role in robbing Michael of his liberty. Unfortunately, Texas law currently protects these people. There are no provisions for the criminal prosecution of the “criminal” criminal prosecutor.

    There is a possible exception:

    Sebesta, the former DA from Burleson county cheated and concocted evidence to obtain the
    Capital murder conviction of Anthony Graves.
    So says the Fifth Circuit of the United States.
    So says the previous special prosecutor.

    Anthony was on death row for 18 years before
    He was exonerated. Had Sebesta gotten
    His way, Anthony would be dead. Let me repeat that: HAD SEBESTA GOTTEN HIS WAY, ANTHONY GRAVES, AN EXONERATED INNOCENT MAN WOULD BE DEAD!!!!

    In Texas, even Burleson County,there is no statute of limitations for murder or attempted murder.

    In my opinion, Sebesta’s actions amounted to the attempted murder of Anthony Graves. A grand jury, not made up of Sebesta’s family & friends should review the evidence against Sebesta.
    Sebesta should be indicted & tried for the attempted murder of Anthony Graves. If found guilty that piece of shit should go to prison.

    Sebesta has his own website where he continues to deny his culpability. He invites a grand jury to
    Investigate within the convines of his county. This is a cowards invite as he knows everybody & he knows Uncle Bob ain’t likely to indict him.

    The United States of Anerica v Sebesta, sounds
    Good to me.
    A federal grand jury not made up Sebesta’s cousins might actually ” Do The Right Thing”

    Robb Fickman
    Houston

    • Mr. Fickman, may I dare say that, this was one of the Best of the Best I’ve ever read regarding rogue former career prosecutors and what should be the topic of the next bill aimed at their assess. Hope you & Mr. B. are authoring one as we speak.

      One Question, if you get some spare time.
      Would you publicly express this same view ‘if’ the ADA of Record was documented (in cert. case files) as to creating his own evidence (a firearm) vs. hiding it, brought it to work in his brief case, had a court reporter bring it into court and hand it to him, displayed it to the entire court & entered it as a State’s Exhibit in a non-DNA, non-Death Row felony jury trial, with no chain of custody or Police Incident Report listing any weapons found, located or, excreted? Resulting in, the retained defense stopping the trial to plea bargain because defendant was on probation at time of arrest. Thanks. You are the friggin man.

      *Btw, SHG of Simple Justice has a must read on this piece of shit and his wrist slappin.

  3. Robb Fickman says:

    Mr Griffith-
    Thank you for the kind words.

    A lie is a lie. If a prosecutor excludes critical exculpatory evidence and then lies about it, as Anderson did, that’s wrong.

    If a prosecutor concocts fraudulent testimony or physical evidence and then introduces it into evidence as something authentic, that too is a lie And its wrong. Period.

    Sebesta concocted fraudulent testimony and he used that fraudulent testimony to obtain the conviction of Anthony Graves.

    Prosecutors are supposed to do justice. That is their duty under the law & rules of ethics.

    A prosecutor, as you know, has extraordinary power.
    Such power vested in the right hands is a necessary part of the criminal justice system. There are ethical prosecutors. Ken Sparks from Columbus is as ethical a man as you will ever meet.

    Unfortunately, far too often we encounter unethical prosecutors. Perhaps the job attracts bullies, people who want to have power over other’s lives. Prosecutors dont earn the power. The moment they are hired as prosecutors they are given this power.

    Lincoln said , if you want to test a man’s character,
    Give him power. Anderson & Sebesta both wielded enormous power. Both abused that power and other Texans paid with their God given liberty.
    Both Anderson & Sebesta flunked Lincoln’s test because both lacked character. They are both bullies and thus by definition, they are both cowards. All bullies are ultimately cowards.

    Anderson, is neither the rule nor the exception. One Anderson is too many. There are however
    Many more out there. That is why the Legislature must pass laws that allow for the criminal prosecution of the rogue prosecutor.

    They will not disappear. However, with the right laws, next time a Da robs a man of 25 years, that Da can have 25 years in prison to mull it over.

    Regards

    Robb Fickman
    ( insomnia Month 3)

  4. Robb: Nailed it. Thank you.
    Mark: Thank you, thank you, thank you for not only including mention of Debra Baker but for also naming her instead of defaulting to “another Austin woman” as so many others do.

  5. Robb Fickman says:

    Caitlin – I am sorry that the criminal justice system failed your family. Had Anderson done his job your
    Terrible loss may have been avoided. Prosecutors are taught that they are “exceptional”. They are not. They are often no more than bullies with a law degree. You know better than anyone, that a prosecutor who abandons his duty can damage the lives of many innocent people. I too am sorry for your loss & your families many years of suffering. God Bless the Morton Family & the Baker Family.

    Respectfully,

    Robb Fickman
    Houston

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