Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2013
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Ellis Leads Senate in Honoring Michael Morton

SR 447 recognizes the courage and grace of wrongfully convicted Texan, 2012 Dallas Morning-News Texan of the Year

(Austin, Texas)—Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today led the Texas Senate in honoring Michael Morton, a wrongfully convicted Texan who is working to improve the Texas Criminal Justice system.

Below is Senator Ellis' statement:

"Mr. President, members, today I have the honor of introducing an incredible man with a story of courage and perseverance most of us cannot even comprehend.

"We have with us one of the Dallas Morning News' 2012 Texans of the Year. In their words:

'Any man would need an ocean of inner strength to survive arrest, conviction and hard prison time for a crime he did not commit. It takes even more strength to cling to hope that someday, the system will make things right so he can clear his name and walk free. Rare is the man who emerges from the ordeal without bitterness and a hunger for revenge against those who wronged him.'

"Michael Morton is just such a man. He spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was accused and convicted of murdering the woman he loved; incarcerated by the state, shunned by family and friends, sustained for years by only hope.

"Members, Mr. Morton could have harbored incredible bitterness and simply tried to rebuild his own life outside of the spotlight, concentrating on himself and his future.

"That would be completely understandable. Instead, he is using the stature he has gained as a living testimony of the flaws of our criminal justice system to enact real change and prevent other Texans from sharing his fate.

"Members, we owe a debt of gratitude to Michael Morton -- and the men like him -- that cannot be under-stated. He reminds us of the flaws in our system and the consequences of injustice. His faith, grace, courage and strength are reminders that humanity can shine through even the darkest and most inhumane treatment, and that hope and belief in the truth can move mountains and save lives.

"Members, please join me in welcoming to the Senate Michael Morton, and Roger Jones and Tod Roberson of the Dallas Morning News."

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