Sunday, April 21, 2013

Texas judge to face criminal charges for his misconduct as prosecutor 25 years ago

Long time readers of this blog might remember a case in Texas in which a judge was under investigation for misconduct when he was a prosecutor.  My original post, which includes a segment from the tv show 60 minutes on the case, is available here.   More comments - by me and others - followed here and here.  The bottom line is that the now judge-then prosecutor, Ken Anderson, concealed exculpatory evidence in a case which resulted in sending an innocent man to prison for 25 years. 

The case is now back in the news, because after all these years, finally the ex-proscutor will face justice.  The New York Times is reporting (here and here) that the judge overseeing the case found that there was sufficient evidence that the former prosecutor should be tried for criminal contempt, tampering with evidence and tampering with government records. He said Anderson concealed the availability of exculpatory evidence.

At some point in the past, when it was determined the defendant was innocent, Anderson offered an apology for what he called "failures in the system" but continued to argue he believed that there was no misconduct. In my opinion, the apology, like his original conduct, was dishonest.  The system did not fail; he failed.  He lied and cheated and robbed an innocent man of 25 years of his life.  You can see the apology here.

Given my previous post on the lack of accountability for prosecutorial misconduct, a conviction in this case would go a long way to deter future prosecutors from violating their duties.

UPDATE 4/26/13: There is a good discussion in the comments by readers of the story at the ABA Journal here.