Murder Cases Put Questionable Evidence to Test - junk science in the courtroom
Murder Cases Put Questionable Evidence to Test
By BRANDI GRISSOM
Undigested bits of mushrooms and tomatoes from Christine Morton’s last meal — a celebratory birthday dinner she had with her husband — were still in her stomach when the medical examiner performed his autopsy in 1986.
Those remnants, the prosecutor told the jury during Michael Morton’s trial, “scientifically proved” that Mr. Morton had beaten his wife to death.
Twenty-five years later, DNA science revealed that someone else had actually killed Mrs. Morton and that her husband’s murder conviction and more than two decades in prison were a tragic mistake. His exoneration based on DNA evidence is the 45th in Texas.
Before he dismissed the wrongful murder charges against Mr. Morton last week, Judge Sid Harle recounted the faults the case exposed in the Texas justice system. Among them: the use of so-called junk science in the courtroom....