Michael Morton Speaks at the Texas Tribune Festival

Tomorrow, the Texas Tribune Festival will kick off for a weekend devoted to local, state, and national issues. Among the central topics that will be discussed by over 200 speakers are public and higher education, transportation, energy, criminal justice, and government transparency.

Attendees of this important festival will hear from influential speakers such as Rick Perry, Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte, Chris Hayes, and many more.

One speaker in particular has caught our attention – Michael Morton, a man who spent twenty-five years in jail for killing his wife. He was innocent.

Previously, Adam Loewy wrote about the importance of Michael Morton’s story as both an inspiration and a cautionary tale. Adam’s review of Michael’s memoir Getting Life: An Innocent Man’s 25-Year Journey From Prison to Peace reaffirms why the Loewy Law Firm selectively chooses difficult civil rights cases.

These cases are challenging. Michael Morton was singled out as the only suspect by Williamson County Police Department and denied justice by a District Attorney who withheld key evidence.

A year after his conviction, Michael wrote a heartbreaking letter from prison to the judge who had sentenced him. He asked if he would ever see his three-year-old son, Eric, again, pleading, “You cannot imagine what it is like to lose your wife the way I did, then to be falsely accused and convicted of this terrible crime. First, my wife and now possibly, my son! (Texas Monthly: The Innocent Man)”

Twenty-five years after his conviction, pro-bono work by Houston lawyer John Raley and the Innocence Project used DNA evidence to acquit Morton.

Michael MortonAmazingly, Michael is not bitter or vengeful. He has been fearless, though, in aggressively pursuing a recently passed discovery law–the Michael Morton Act–that is designed to prevent withheld evidence.

Michael Morton will be speaking as part of a Justice panel for the Texas Tribune Festival. The topic: What’s Next for Criminal Justice Reform? We urge everyone to attend and hear from this inspirational man.

Michael Morton will be speaking Saturday, September 20, at 8:30 AM on UT Campus. Details on this and the other Texas Tribune Festival panels can be found at this link.