AUSTIN -- The Texas District and County Attorneys Association published a 31-page report this week that uncovers the issue of prosecutorial misconduct in Texas.
Researchers spent eight months on the findings that examine claims by the Innocence Project that Texas had 91 cases of prosecutor misconduct from 2004 to 2008. The TDCAA found only six cases of misconduct in the same time period, where the prosecutor's unethical actions led to an unjust result.
"Are there problems that come up? Yes, and we need to address them. But 91 cases? That was just false, and I knew it," said TDCAA Director Rob Kepple.
Kepple said the report found the majority of wrongful convictions come from faulty science. The majority of prosecutor misconduct happens when attorneys fail to disclose evidence.
"There are some cases where there are serious allegations of prosecutor misconduct that need to be looked at. That being said, it's not helpful to overstate the problem," said Kepple.
There are allegations of prosecutor misconduct in Williamson County in the Michael Morton case. He was exonerated in 2011 after serving 25 years for his wife's murder -- a crime he didn't commit.
"What happened to me, it can happen to anybody," said Morton.
The Innocence Project stands by its report.
“While we are puzzled that the Texas District and County Attorney Association felt the need to disparage our work, especially given the fact that we took pains to acknowledge the limitations with our research. We’re pleased that they are taking the problem seriously,” said Cookie Ridolfi, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and executive director of the Northern California Innocence Project and the Veritas Initiative.