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.
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.