The Guilty Man

Michael Morton, who spent 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife, takes the stand again, against the real killer:

“The jury regarded him with what appeared to be both sympathy and fascination. One of the many strange aspects of The State of Texas v. Mark Alan Norwood was that at no point during the eight-day trial would the jurors hear that Michael himself had previously been found guilty of the crime, or that he had spent nearly 25 years behind bars. Before the trial, state district judge Burt Carnes had granted a request from the prosecution to exclude testimony about Michael’s conviction. Because his exoneration had wiped his record clean, he no longer had a criminal history, and the prosecution argued that any mention of his wrongful conviction might unfairly prejudice the jury against its star witness. To the people in the courtroom who were familiar with Michael’s odyssey, however, it was a mind-bending omission.”

Source: Texas Monthly
Published: Jun 7, 2013
Length: 26 minutes (6,667 words)
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