Yesterday the Texas Supreme Court overturned two murder convictions based on evidence that their constitutional rights were violated as a result of repeated misconduct on the part of the former prosecutor who handled both trials. Dennis Lee Allen and Stanley Mozeewere convicted in 2000 of murdering Jesse Borns, Jr., a local store owner and lay minister and sentenced to life in prison. They were freed from prison in a Dallas County district courtroom more than three years ago based on new evidence uncovered as the result of a joint re-investigation of the case by the Innocence Project, the Innocence Project of Texas and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
In March 2017, A District Judge found that prosecutor in the case had withheld numerous items of exculpatory evidence relating to informants and eyewitnesses from both defendants and had also presented false testimony from these witnesses at both Mozee’s and Allen’s trials. The findings were entered with the support and agreement of Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson and her Conviction Integrity Unit. Yesterday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the district court’s findings and vacated both murder convictions on due process grounds.
So, what happened to the prosecutor who put two innocent men in prison for a decade? According to the Innocence Project, the ADA, Rick Jackson, “is no longer with that office.”