Judge Ken Anderson of Williamson County is in hot water for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense some 25 years ago in the Michael Morton case.
Michael Morton was convicted of murder some 25 years ago. He was recently exonerated by DNA evidence courtesy of the Innocence Project.
Ken Anderson at the time was a prosecutor. His file contained evidence that a 3 year old child said his father (Michael Morton) didn't commit the murder. The 3 year old said a "monster" with a mustache did. Also, a neighbor saw a suspicious car around the time of the murder. The DNA evidence not only cleared the father but identified the real killer (presently in prison for other murders).
I will focus on the statements of the child which allegedly Ken Anderson allegedly did not disclose. The basic idea is that a prosecutor is supposed to disclose to the defense exculpatory evidence in his possession. Allegedly, he didn't disclose the described evidence. As a result, an innocent man was convicted and spent 25 years in prison (likely, if the exculpatory evidence was disclosed the father would not have been convicted).
If these allegations are true, Ken Adams definitely deserves discipline. The Bar is doing the right thing. I don't know if it can get past issues like limitations.
What annoys me greatly is that the Bar is just as guilty of concealing evidence from a child witness as Judge Ken Anderson. It actually punished a lawyer for presenting such evidence in Court.
Specifically, a nearly 6 year old child highly intelligent child (according to both parents) stated that his father and several lawyers (and a judge) told the child to lie. The child was told to lie in ways that could have put his mother in prison (e.g. the child was told to say that his mother had "touched" him; he was also told to lie about his mother's lawyer in ways that could have grown in ways possibly resulting in prison).
Judge William Adams apparently in conspiracy with the bar held that it was frivolous to believe a child. There apparently was a conspiracy based on an email by Judge Adams to his ex wife indicating that. He said it was frivolous to believe a child, but actually the proposition that it is frivolous to believe a child is itself frivolous. There is no authority at all to that effect and in fact judges, juries, police, CPS officials, etc. believe children every day.
Judge Adams admitted that he believes children. The lawyers involved believe children in regularly. They just conspired to make up a dishonest proposition of law in order to conceal what the child said happened. The dishonest order was written clearly designed to falsely conceal what the child said. The child was not impeached in any form or fashion (other than conclusory denials by the persons involved according to the child).
Essentially, Judge Adams and the lawyers took the position that it was frivolous to believe the child rather than the adults involved (including lawyers and a judge according to the child). Of course, that is not the law. This was pure corruption. Obviously, most adults accused by children deny the crime the child describes. The child is not automatically disbelieved in favor of the adult. Actually, the child is very frequently believed.
Obviously, Judge Adams and the lawyers involved were just being dishonest and corrupt. They were concealing what the child said happened. There was never a fair hearing to determine the truth. The mother and her lawyer were actually attacked not only for believing the child and presenting the child's statements in court but for serving discovery to determine the truth.4
The bar was in full support of this dishonesty and corruption. This would particularly be Marie Haspil and James Ehler (and their supervisors).
Not only was the bar in full support of this dishonesty and corruption, but the Judicial Conduct Commission was also.
Tom Cunningham knowing of Judge Adams' ruling that it is frivolous to believe a perfectly believable child wrote in a disciplinary opinion relative to Judge Adams that he makes reasoned decisions consistent with the law.
The fact is that there is a culture in Texas supported both by the Texas Bar and the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission of ignoring what children say when asserted by the politically less powerful party. Of course, it is OK for the State to believe a child when putting people in prison but not OK for the Defendant. In this case, the Defendant never knew about the child's statements. Based on Judge Adams' ruling, his lawyer would face sanctions for believing the child.
The same is true in family law cases. The politically favored side can believe the child (usually the side asserting child abuse very frequently fabricated) but not the politically disfavored side (frequently the falsely accused).
The law is literally crooked. It bends one way for some people and the other way for other people.
If the allegations against Judge Ken Adams are true, he deserves discipline. However, the lawyers at the Bar and the Judicial Conduct Commission deserve discipline also because they are just as guilty.
The case described above where the child was asked to lie about his mother (and her lawyer) could have resulted in wrongful imprisonment just as in the Judge Ken Adams case. The lawyer who listened to the child and as a result may have kept his client from prison (and himself) was attacked by the Bar and the Judicial Conduct Commission for presenting what the child said in Court.
Although Judge Ken Adams well deserves discipline if the allegations against him are true, the bar has such dirty hands that its lawyers deserves equal discipline.
The Judge William Adams referenced herein is the same Judge William Adams of Child beating fame.
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