Ex-Texas prosecutor first in history to be jailed for withholding evidence
A Texas district comes down hard on a prosecutor for misconduct that put an innocent man behind bars for nearly 25 years. But not that hard, Still, it’s a first for the Lone Star State:
A former Texas district attorney agreed Friday to serve 10 days in jail for withholding evidence that could have stopped an innocent man from going to prison for nearly 25 years — apparently the first time a prosecutor has been sent to jail for concealing evidence helpful to the defense.
Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson agreed to a plea deal that will also require him to pay a $500 fine and complete 500 hours of community service after state District Judge Kelly Moore found him in contempt of court for telling a trial judge in 1987 that he had no exculpatory evidence to hand over to lawyers for Michael Morton, whose conviction in his wife’s death was overturned in 2011.
Charges of tampering with evidence — which could have meant 10 years in prison — were dropped as part of the deal, under which Anderson will be disbarred.