Ex-prosecutor struck off after wrongful convictions in Texas

DALLAS (AP) – A former Dallas County prosecutor waived his law license after the Texas State Bar said he withheld evidence that led to the wrongful conviction of two men who had spent 14 years in prison in the fatal stabbing of a pastor.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Richard E. “Rick” Jackson gave up his law degree last month. The state bar concluded that it failed to inform defense attorneys for Dennis Allen and Stanley Mozee of any evidence that might have shed light on them during their capital murder trials in 2000.

“This case is not about a person struck out for making a mistake or a prosecutor who accidentally or even neglected to provide favorable evidence,” said Nina Morrison, a lawyer for the Innocence Project in New York who worked to erase Allen and Mozee. newspaper.

“He is someone who repeatedly and intentionally hid evidence favorable to two defendants who were on trial for their lives.”


Allen and Mozee had been sentenced to life in prison for killing Reverend Jesse Borns Jr., who was stabbed 47 times in his leather and carpentry store in 1999.

Allen and Mozee were released from jail in 2014 after the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said they were wrongly convicted on the basis of prosecution misconduct.

They were declared innocent five years later after DNA testing helped them eliminate them.

The district attorney’s office headed by former DA Craig Watkins reopened the case and found evidence that defense lawyers said they never received, such as accounts from witnesses who saw two men arguing with them. Borns outside the store the night he was killed. Witnesses said one man was significantly taller than the other and one had a visible scar on the side of his neck. Allen and Mozee are roughly the same height, around 6 feet. Neither had a scar.

The file also included previously undisclosed letters from people in prison who agreed to testify against Allen in exchange for favors in their case.

Jackson was among the prosecutors who were not invited to stay in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office following Watkins’ 2006 election victory. Jackson, who had spent 17 years as a Dallas County District Attorney, has sued Watkins in federal court, claiming his dismissal was based on race. Jackson is white and Watkins is black. A judge threw the costume away.

The Innocence Project in New York and the Innocence Project of Texas filed a 196-page state bar grievance in 2018 against Jackson.

Jackson’s attorney, Bob Hinton, said Jackson had long maintained that he turned the evidence over to the defense and still believed Allen and Mozee to be guilty. Hinton said Jackson did not want to comment.

Jackson retired from practicing law in 2013 after being fired from the Denton County District Attorney’s Office. Hinton said Jackson now spends his summers driving tour buses in Alaska.

Hinton said that against his advice, Jackson chose not to spend his retirement savings to fight the charge in a disciplinary hearing in which he risked losing his law degree.

The person who killed Borns has not been arrested.


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