The Texas Supreme Court today (Nov. 19) prohibited former judge Ken Anderson from practicing law and ordered him to “immediately surrender” his bar card and law license.
In accepting Anderson’s voluntary resignation, the high court “conclusively established for all purposes” that Anderson committed “professional misconduct” as Williamson County district attorney in 1987 when he prosecuted Michael Morton on charges of murdering his wife.
After over 24 years in prison, DNA evidence in 2011 exonerated Morton and pointed to the real killer. In March, Mark Allen Norwood was convicted of murdering Christine Morton.
The high court’s order in In the Matter of Ken Anderson “conclusively” establishes the misconduct that is detailed in a filing by the State Bar of Texas Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Commission for Lawyer Discipline.
That Nov. 12 filing said that Anderson knew about but failed to disclose exculpatory evidence including: a report about neighbors who saw a man in a green van park behind the Morton’s house several times before the murder; and documentation of a deputy’s interview with Christine Morton’s mother, who said that the Mortons’ son witnessed the crime and “had told her that his father was not home.”
Among other things, the response said Anderson violated disciplinary rules that say a lawyer can’t engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; can’t knowingly make a false statement; and a prosecutor must disclose exculpatory or mitigating evidence.
Anderson voluntarily resigned his law license as part of a settlement to resolve civil and criminal cases against him.