Texas Senate approves Morton criminal justice bill

'Open file' policy would help defendants' cases

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The Texas Senate has unanimously approved a bill attempting to make criminal trials more fair and named in honor of a husband who wrongfully spent nearly 25 years in prison for killing his wife.

Michael Morton was convicted in 1987 but released in 2011, after DNA testing cleared him.

Another man has since been convicted of the killing.

Senate Bill 1611, named for Morton, would create a uniform "open file" policy in Texas compelling prosecutors to share case files with defense attorneys that can help defendants' cases.

The district attorney at Morton's trial, Ken Anderson, is accused of withholding evidence from the defense.

Anderson, now a state district judge, faced a special Court of Inquiry to determine if prosecutorial misconduct occurred. No ruling has yet been issued in that matter.


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