Last week Ken Anderson resigned his position as a District judge - the week before his ethics trial was set to begin. It appears the resignation may be part of a settlement and an attempt to save his judicial pension. Even if he's able to settle the ethics suit however he still faces criminal charges as a result of his actions in the prosecution of Michael Morton.
Anderson's actions - as well as the changes that have been implemented as a result - have been well documented. Discovery reform is set to take place on January 1 - something that has prosecutors have fought for years. Now all prosecutors will have to provide copies of offense reports and other evidence - and document what they provided before a defendant goes to trial or enters a plea of guilty. Most prosecutors in Texas already do this, although McLennan County is not in that category for felony offenses. It's because of them that they now have the guidelines they are going to have to comply with.
But that's not the point of this post. Instead, it's more about wondering what it's like to be on the other side, and if Mr. Anderson realizes he is getting what he handed out for so many years. The claims that he has made so far - that he didnt' mean to do it, and even if he did it's not fair to penalize him and ruin him financially because he's worked hard all of his life - are the same arguments defendants made to his office every day when he was a District Attorney, and made to him when he was a judge. Now the shoe is on the other foot so to speak.
Prosecutors love to point out, especially in murder cases or cases involving serious injury, that you can't bring the victim back. The defendant gets to live life and see his family, while the victim doesn't have the privilege. It's generally a persuavive argument. The question is whether it's going to be persuavive here. There's no doubt that Michael Morton can never get the last 25 years of his life back. Neither can his son get back that time - growing up thinking his father murdered his mother. Any sentence any other than a substantial term in prison truly justice?
We will have to wait and see how it all turns out - he may not even be convicted. But if he is, will the justice system treat him the same way he treated all of those who came before him?