Former Texas Death Row Inmate Seeks Justice Against Prosecutor

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Anthony Graves

The sweet sound of justice sounds different after 18 years of false imprisonment, but it rings sweet nonetheless. As does the promise of more.

Beginning in 1992, Mr. Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and spent 12 of those years on death row. Another man had admitted to being the sole killer, but Graves was also sentenced to death for the deaths of a Somerville family of six after Burleson County DA Charles Sebesta muddled with the case. “Then, in 2006, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Graves' conviction, ruling that Sebesta the prosecutor had used false testimony and withheld Carter's confession from the defense,” the Texas Tribune explains.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Graves held a press conference at Texas Southern University. Flanked by Democratic members of the Legislature, Graves announced he will be filing a grievance against the prosecutor in his case for misconduct with the State Bar of Texas. “We're here today, Martin Luther King Day, seeking justice for me and my family and the citizens of this state,” Graves told the crowd.

More below the jump.The legislators there were Sens. John Whitmire, Rodney Ellis and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, all from Houston. Last year Whitmire passed a bill which “changed the statute of limitations for a wrongfully imprisoned person to file a grievance in cases of alleged prosecutorial misconduct. The new law allows Graves to take action against Sebesta up to four years after the date of Graves' release from prison. Previously, the four-year statute began on the date the misconduct was discovered.”

“I'm asking prosecutors to cooperate with the highest of integrity,” Graves said. “It took me 18 and a half years to get back home. Two execution dates. All because a man abused his position.”


About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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