Judge Sid Harle released him in less than 30 minutes from the time he set foot into the courtroom.
27 jun. 2013
Who is Michael Morton?
“He was just an ordinary, law-abiding citizen, who got clobbered for no good reason,” says 60 Minutes producer Andy Court, who co-produced this week’s story about Morton’s wrongful murder conviction and 25 years in prison.
During the reporting process, Court says, “there were often times I thought of the Bible. I thought of the story of Job– someone who just endures suffering after suffering, and it’s not clear why.”
In 1987, Morton was convicted of beating his wife, Christine, to death. Twenty-five painful years later, he finally cleared his name through DNA evidence, walked out of prison, and began to pick up the pieces of his life.
For the 60 Minutes team who came to know Morton, one of the most emotional parts of this tragic tale was Morton’s estrangement from his son, who was just three at the time of the murder.
“The relationship between Michael Morton and his son, I think, transfixed all of us,” Court told Overtime. “The fact that this little boy saw his mother murdered…and then at the very point when the father needed the son and the son needed the father, they were ripped apart. The son was raised by relatives, no doubt thinking that his father had killed his mother. You can only imagine what it was like for the son to find out, ‘Oh my God, what people told me was wrong. Dad didn’t kill mom. Dad was an innocent man.'”
In this week’s Overtime feature, Court and his team tell us more about Morton, his relationship with his son, and his granddaughter, Christine.
Producer’s update: Since this story aired on 60 Minutes, Michael Morton got married to a woman he met through his church. Last month, Morton watched as legislation he had lobbied for was signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The new law requires prosecutors to disclose investigative information to the defense. It’s called “The Michael Morton Act.”
15 jun. 2020