Michael Morton celebrates one year of freedom

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by MELISSA MAHADEO / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

kvue.com

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 4:08 PM

AUSTIN -- One year ago Thursday Michael Morton went free, and now he's using his experience to keep an eye on the justice system.

“Penal life is predictable and grinding and boring and gray,” Michael Morton said.

For almost 25 years, that is all Michael Morton knew. In 1986 Morton found out his wife Christine had been beaten and killed in their Williamson County home. In 1987 he was wrongly convicted for her murder. Twenty-four years and seven months later, DNA evidence from a bloody bandanna found at the scene set Morton free.

“On my birthday last year I got the news that the DNA on that bandanna belonged to a man named Mark Alan Norwood,” Morton said.

It's been one year since Morton stepped into the world a free man. Technology and fashion trends have changed, but Morton said he is still grateful for the little things.

“The sun on my face, the smell of bacon,” he said.

For Morton, time has robbed him of his son's childhood. Eric was just three years old when Morton went to prison. He's now 29 and a newlywed, but that three-year-old little boy is what kept Morton fighting for his freedom.

Morton said prosecutors and the sheriff's department suppressed evidence, including telephone conversations that revealed his son had witnessed the murder.

Now he's working to prevent others from living his nightmare. His website Michael-Morton.com aims to help locals get in touch with their legislators and keep a close eye on the justice system.

“If there is integrity in our justice system, then it works for everybody,” Morton said.

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