Texas Releases Inmate From Life Sentence After DNA Evidence Reveals He Is Likely Innocent

Texas will release Michael Morton, a man sentenced to life in prison for the 1986 death of his wife, after a DNA test reveals another man more likely committed the crime. The case “will likely raise more questions” about Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) 2001 appointee whose tenure has been “controversial.” The Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions, claims that Bradley “suppressed evidence” that would have helped clear Morton. Perry also appointed Bradley to the Texas Forensic Science Commission in 2009, where he has been critical of the commission’s investigation of the case of Cameron Todd Willingham — a likely innocent man who was executed in 2004. The state Senate “refused to confirm him as head of the commission after he told reporters Willingham was a ‘guilty monster.’” Given Perry’s record of execution, it is fortunate that Morton was not on death row. If he had received the death penalty, he would still be innocent but there would be no way to reverse his sentence.