“A devastating and infuriating book, more astonishing than any legal thriller by John Grisham” (The New York Times) about a young father who spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit…and his eventual exoneration and return to life as a free man.
On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed. He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over.
Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than 1,000 pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card, which was never followed up on; and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again.
“Even for readers who may feel practically jaded about stories of injustice in Texas—even those who followed this case closely in the press—could do themselves a favor by picking up Michael Morton’s new memoir…It is extremely well-written [and] insightful” (The Austin Chronicle). Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.
In 1986, 32-year-old Michael Morton's life changed forever the day his wife, Christine, was bludgeoned to death in their bed while their three-year-old son looked on. In this eloquent, page-turning memoir, Morton recalls his wrongful conviction of that murder and the 25 years he spent in the hellish Texas penal system before DNA tests proved his innocence. He describes his trial, in which, he explains, the prosecutor in the rural county outside of Austin blatantly withheld exculpatory evidence. Despite being railroaded and sentenced to life in prison, Morton's attitude remains more positive than you'd expect: he's determined to bring his wife's real killer to justice, even as he's exposed to some of the harshest prisons in Texas. With the help of the New York based Innocence Project, a legal effort founded to overturn wrongful convictions through DNA testing, Morton pushed through years of blocked appeals until the courts finally approved testing a bloody bandana found near the murder scene (it revealed the DNA of another man, who would be found guilty of the murder in 2013).
What a heart-wrenching story. To lose his wife, then wrongfully convicted for the crime when he should have been mourning is just about the most tragic thing imaginable. We all only have one life, and the ambition of a small town prosecutor altered his path forever. I'm happy to support your new life by purchasing your book and reading your story.
John Wayne was an actor. Michael Morton is the real deal!
I Want to be Like Michael Morton When I Grow Up (I'm 65!)
I so wish Mr. Morton would do a publicity tour to promote this book! Rarely has a book affected me so deeply. This man's ability to maintain - no, strenghten - his character through a quarter of a century wrongly imprisoned is truly amazing. He used this time to read voraciously, thus honing his own writing skills - and hone them he did! A great story-teller with the ability to even insert humor into a tragic situation. I was truly inspired by this book to be a better person. Thank you for sharing yourself and your life with the world, Mr. Morton.