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Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Continuing John Bradley/Ken Anderson Saga; Kerr County Jail Overcrowding

1/6/2012 2:42:00 PM
Morton's lawyers demand deeper probe
Editor, Wilco Watchdog
Morton's lawyers demand deeper probe

Although the Innocence Project has called for a court of inquiry to investigate former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson - to determine if he withheld evidence during Michael Morton's 1987 murder trial - that's not all the New York City-based advocacy group wants, in the wake of Morton's recent exoneration.

Judge Sid Harle's ruling on the court of inquiry request is pending. Last month, the judge said he wanted to give Anderson time to respond.

But, in addition to that, the Innocence Project is calling for an investigation into other, unspecified cases Anderson prosecuted during his almost 17 years as the county's elected district attorney. Before being elected D.A., Anderson - who since 2002 has been 277th District Court judge - served more than five years as an assistant prosecutor under Ed Walsh.

Bradley is having a tough time keeping his stories straight. He has made so many misleading statements over the past few months, many are now coming back around to haunt him.

"It really is the best practice for making sure all exculpatory material is released before any trial," Bradley Stated

It is more than "best practice", it is the law. A true open file policy, not the misleading policy Bradley claims his office utilizes would prevent these occurrences.

In 2010, Assistant DA Tommy Coleman admitted to withholding exculpatory evidence during a trial. After the trial was over, Coleman admitted the act to defense attorneys and jurors.

According to court documents, a motion for a new trial (Click here to read motion) was filed in June 2010 based on issues of suppressed evidence by prosecutors. A portion of the motion reads (page 3 of the motion):
”Defense counsel became aware of the evidence during the discussion with the jury panel after sentencing. The State’s attorney, Tommy Coleman (second chair) and defense counsel were discussing what evidence the jurors wished they had seem. Juror number 1, Jennifer Reasner and juror number 25, Michelle, both specifically said they needed to see the sales flyer because it ‘would have most likely been exonerating.' Mr. Coleman then told defense counsel the state had been emailed the piece of evidence in question but had not produced it to the defense. When defense counsel questioned why Mr. Coleman failed to disclose the information during the trial, (defense) counsel was told ‘it’s too late now, your guys already pled.’” (meaning he was already found guilty in trial)

Coleman, is the same Assistant DA who stated "Ewwww! Bloody bandana! Bloody bandana!" in a cynical attempt to discredit the evidence during a September 2011 Morton hearing.

According to YNN, Bradley was asked about the evidence issue involving Coleman, and he is reported to have said that it was a “policy decision” that kept the e-mailed evidence out of the trial in an attempt to defend Coleman's actions.

If withholding exculpatory evidence is a decision based on “policy”, it doesn't bode well for fairness or justice in Williamson County. How long has this "policy" of withholding exculpatory evidence been implemented? How many other felony cases prosecuted by Bradley's office does it affect?

Perhaps Mr. Bradley can take a bit of advice from Abraham Lincoln. "No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar."

Reasons for Kerr County Jail Overcrowding?
The overcrowding at the jail is a problem that is going to require more money for expanding it, or a change in policies. I have some suggestions.Many of the inmates are charged with minor drug possession crimes, and are non-violent. The justices of the peace who set their bonds often set them so high they can't post bond, so they sit in jail waiting to go to court. This is compounded by a practice called "direct file," where the sheriff's office files a case in the district court before a grand jury hears evidence and indicts. Some defendants sit in jail months without their cases being presented to the grand jury.
My suggestions for lessening jail overcrowding: 1) set reasonable bonds for non-violent offenders, 2) do away with direct filing. Either they have enough evidence to indict or they don't; it's not right to keep these people in limbo.

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