Michael Morton, whose wrongful conviction and exoneration attracted widespread attention and led to criminal justice reforms in the last Texas Legislature, will be among the keynote speakers this week at the 27th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course in San Antonio.
Morton will speak Saturday at the event, hosted by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Morton, who served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife’s murder before DNA tests exonerated him, has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform since his 2011 release from prison. His case inspired the Legislature to pass the 2013 Michael Morton Act, which included new discovery rules to help ensure criminal defendants have access to evidence that could prove their innocence.
More than 800 criminal defense lawyers are expected to gather for the three-day seminar, which begins Thursday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Other event highlights include:
- David Botsford of Austin, Ronald Goranson of Dallas, and Stanley Schneider of Houston will be inducted into the TCDLA Hall of Fame.
- Uvalde criminal defense attorney Emmett Harris will be sworn in as the 44th president of the association by current TCDLA President Bobby Mims.
- Casie Gotro of Houston and Angela J. Moore and Mark Stevens, both of San Antonio, will be honored as the Charles Butts Pro Bono Lawyers of the Year.
- Kameron Johnson of Austin will be installed as chairman of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Education Institute.