Justice

Michael Morton Wrongful Murder Conviction Prompts Policy Change in Texas

Michael Morton was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife after a district attorney withheld evidence in his case.

“They found me guilty, and they gave me a life sentence,” he stated.

Morton was released 25 years later when the suppressed evidence was unsealed. Once freed, he worked to pass legislation that would protest others.  Now he’s trying to help others in the nation get the same protection.

“One morning [in 1986] I left for work, like I always did, and shortly thereafter, a man entered our home and beat my wife to death in our bed,” he stated. “It wasn’t too long after the funeral that I was arrested, and I was put in the back of a police car. And it wasn’t too long after that that I had a trail, was on the local news every night, and in the newspaper every morning, and they found me guilty, and they gave me a life sentence."

Morton was sentenced to life in prison in 1987. His legal team requested DNA testing of a piece of evidence. It was finally tested in 2011. He unknown DNA returned a match for Mark Alan Norwood.

Morton was later declared innocent by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In October 2011, he was released from prison. Norwood was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Morton’s wife. The district attorney who withheld evidence resigned, lost his law license, and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.