Our 2015 Quattrone Exoneree Fellow was Michael Morton.
Michael Morton was born in Texas, grew up in California, and moved back to Texas in high school. While living in Austin, Michael was wrongfully convicted of the 1986 murder of his wife Christine, a crime witnessed by his then 3-year-old son. He spent almost twenty-five years in prison before being exonerated in 2011 through the efforts of the Innocence Project, pro bono lawyer John Raley, and advances in DNA technology.
Michael has a strong desire to do what he can to prevent what happened to him from happening to others and has worked tirelessly with lawmakers to pass legislation such as the Michael Morton Act, which codifies exactly how and when prosecutors must share information with citizens who stand accused of a crime.
Michael’s journey is the subject of the award-winning documentary “An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story”, and he has recently released his acclaimed memoir, published by Simon & Schuster, “Getting Life: An Innocent Man’s 25-Year Journey From Prison to Peace.” Michael is now remarried and he and his wife Cynthia live on a lake in rural East Texas, relishing and appreciating what others may take for granted.
Sadly, even fifty years after Brady v. Maryland, our criminal justice system continues to wrestle with how to disclose information to defendants in criminal cases. To explore that problem, the Center, in the program “Full disclosure: An Evening with Michael Morton,” convened a panel of experts to learn about the impact discovery violations has on defendants, victims, and prosecutors, and what we can do to better understand and prevent these problems.
You can view videos of the event here.