Monday, November 25, 2013

Former Texas DA (now a judge) disbarred in case of wrongful conviction after failure to disclose exculpatory evidence

In March of 2012, the TV show 60 Minutes had a segment on the controversy over the conduct of a former Texas prosecutor who was accused of failing to disclose exculpatory evidence which resulted in the wrongful conviction of an innocent man. The innocent man spent about 25 years in prison until he was exonerated thanks to DNA evidence.  That evidence also disclosed the identity of the actual killer in the case.

I first reported on the case here (where you can also watch the full 60 minutes segment).  As the investigation on the case progressed, I reported later (here) that an investigating judge had found probable cause against the former prosecutor.  (There are more links to other articles on the case there too.)

Now the case is back in the news because it was recently reported (also here) that the prosecutor was sentenced to ten days in jail - yes, you read correctly; ten days!  The sentence is actually for contempt of court for lying during the investigation of the incident.

Fortunately, that was not the only punishment.  The judge has been disbarred and removed from the bench.  It is too bad it took so long to get to this point. 

Update 1/7/2014:  The Huffington Post has a short comment on the case here.