This story is a tragedy on so many level. To call it a nightmare is an understatement. Michael Morton, a Texas husband and father, was convicted of a crime he did not commit – the brutal murder of his beloved wife. Then, to make matters even worse, he was disowned by his only son. He spent 25 years of a life sentence in prison trying desperately to clear his name and reunite with the young son he had left behind.
“From then on I knew… I was their guy no matter what.” -Michael Morton
@katiecouric This story is incredibly touching.People always forget that there are kids involved who are innocent in these situations
— Bridget Russell (@bridgetrussell1) November 13, 2012
As Michael fought for his innocence, he desperately held out hope that he would be reunited with his son, Eric, who was just three-years-old when he was sentenced to life in prison.
“He was growing older and apart from me.” -Michael Morton
When Eric was 18-years-old, he disowned his father. He was legally adopted by his aunt and uncle and took their last name. The two reunited when Michael was finally set free.
“It broke me… I had never felt more gutted and bankrupt.” -Michael Morton
— Theresa E Phillips (@panteri11) November 13, 2012
After spending 25 years in prison, Michael was eventually exonerated by DNA evidence. Michael’s attorney, John Raley, helped discover the evidence that cleared Michael’s name and help him win his freedom.
“I no longer see things as coincidences.” -Michael Morton
When Michael Morton was exonerated last year, the prime suspect in his wife’s murder was finally revealed – a career criminal with an extensive record.
“I have personal experience with how wrong things can go.” -Michael Morton
@katieshow being from Law Enforcement, this is so wrong..Someone must be accountable for his wrongful imprisonment!
— cindy squires (@ford200038) November 13, 2012
Since DNA testing began in 1989, more than 300 wrongfully convicted people, including 18 on death row, have been exonerated by this scientific evidence. Nina Morrison, the senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, a group that used DNA technology to clear Michael Morton, discussed the disturbing trend of wrongful convictions.