June 11, 2019
A special prosecutor has filed an official grievance with the State Bar against a former prosecutor for his wrongful conduct during a case years ago that sent an innocent man to death row for over a decade.
“Prosecutors are supposed to be guardians of justice in the search for truth in every single case,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Tuesday. “We believe he violated that sacred oath.”
Ogg appointed John Raley to independently review the case of Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was freed from prison in 2015 after the state’s highest criminal court ruled the government violated his rights by failing to disclose specific telephone records supporting Brown’s alibi.
Following a ten-month-long review, Raley’s 179-page report detailed the evidence that Brown met the legal standard for actual innocence. His findings were presented to the district attorney.
In addition to his findings about Brown, Raley recently filed a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against Brown’s former prosecutor, Dan Rizzo. “If our justice system is to work properly, the State Bar of Texas must hold prosecutors who hide evidence of innocence accountable for their conduct,” Raley said in a June 4 letter to the State Bar’s Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
Brown was convicted in the death of Houston Police Officer Charles Clark during a robbery in 2003. Two other persons were convicted in the double homicide case and remain in prison. Raley’s findings were adopted by Ogg and presented to the presiding judge, who signed an order declaring Brown actually innocent.
Raley is recognized nationally by prosecutors and defense lawyers for his work in actual innocence cases.
His seven-year fight to free Michael Morton led to the Act bearing Morton’s name, which requires prosecutors to share their complete investigation with defense lawyers.