Monday is a milestone for three lawyers who contributed money and fundraising assistance to a documentary about Michael Morton, who served nearly 25 years in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife.
When the credits roll, the list of executive producers will include retired attorney Stephen Martin, commercial litigator Beverly Reeves and criminal-defense attorney Kent Schaffer. They say they think it’s important for the public to know Morton’s story and they hope the film gets wide distribution.
She says she worked with the Austin Film Society to set up a nonprofit account so donations would be tax deductible. She reached out to other lawyers for $100 donations when filmmakers needed $10,000 for archival footage.
“Boom, within a day or so, we had the money,” says Reeves.
Schaffer, a criminal-defense lawyer of 32 years, says he also raised funds from other lawyers.
“What was done to Michael Morton was just an absolute travesty of justice,” he says.
Martin, a retired Houston lawyer, says compared to what Morton went through, it’s easy to write a check. Martin, previously the vice president and general counsel of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., says he tried to see himself in Morton’s situation.
“This is a story that reaches out and grabs you. It could happen to me. It could happen to you. It could happen to anybody,” he says.
-- Angela Morris