John Bradley named ’2011 Worst Prosecutor of the Year’

Your Winner: 2011 Worst Prosecutor of the Year, John “Marty” Bradley

Over at The Agitator, Williamson County DA John Bradley edged out an extremely competitive national field to win Radley Balko’s 2011 Worst Prosectuor of the Year Award based on a reader poll. As one of Radley’s Agitatortots commented, “although the award is given for a year, it is effectively a lifetime achievement award.” Indeed. Well earned.

Meanwhile, Grits feels compelled to point readers to this hilarious video clip of a scene from a WWII film in German which somebody subtitled with biting dialogue drawing on themes from the Michael Morton exoneration. Normally Grits disdains Hitler references on the web, deferring to my college pal Mike Godwin’s dicta regarding the uselessness and disrespectful nature of such comparisons. However, this piece doesn’t compare Bradley’s actions to those of Hitler’s, which is the usual Godwinian trope. Instead, it uses the scene to explore the emotional state of a megalomaniac in free fall. Anyway, it made me laugh.

On a more serious, related note, last week the Texas Tribune interviewed Michael Morton’s attorney John Raley about the case, and published excerpts in video and transcript form. And Wilco Watchdog is going through old John Bradley posts from the District and County Attorneys user form and finding lots of controversial opinions expressed that don’t always jibe with his comments to the MSM.

Bradley’s GOP primary opponent, Williamson County Attorney Jana Duty, has been racking up law-enforcement endorsements and this week received the endorsement of the former Williamson County DA Ed Walsh, who preceded Ken Anderson and John Bradley in the office. A reader from Williamson County emails to say, “There are bandanas appearing on his signs all over the county. People are really sick of him and no longer scared to speak out.”

What a difference a year makes! This time in 2011 Bradley was on top of the world, with many anticipating that by the end of the year his long-time patron Governor Perry may even appoint him to the Court of Criminal Appeals. But first the Texas Senate rejected JB’s nomination as chair of the Forensic Science Commission, then the Michael Morton exoneration splashed his and Ken Anderson’s names across the national press as poster children for indifference toward valid innocence claims and alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Now, not only is appointment to Texas’ high criminal court a pipe dream, he might not even win reelection in Williamson County. Grits remains flabbergasted by Bradley’s eye-poppingly rapid downfall, which will reach truly epic proportions if he actually loses the April primary. I’m sure the DA himself must be stunned at the development.

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