Texas Denies Compensation to Man Released from Death Row because Document Lacked Word “Innocence"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Anthony Graves
As Anthony Graves said himself, nothing has come easy in his effort to obtain justice.
After spending 18 years on Texas’s Death Row for a murder he did not commit, Graves was finally freed on October 27, 2010. But his attempt to receive compensation for spending most of his adult life behind bars is being thwarted by the state Comptroller’s Office, which insists the 45-year-old African-American does not deserve $1.4 million because the court document overturning his conviction does not contain the words “actual innocence.”
Graves says he won’t give up his attempt to be paid for his wrongful conviction. The special prosecutor who recommended dropping the charges against him has said she’s willing to testify before the comptroller that Graves is innocent.
In 1994, he was convicted of killing 45-year-old Bobbi Davis, her daughter and four grandchildren in their home on August 18, 1992. The case against him was largely based on the testimony of codefendant Robert Carter, who was executed for the slayings in 2000. Before he died, Carter said he had lied about Graves’ involvement in the murders, signing an affidavit to that effect and repeated it while on a gurney on his way to his execution.
In 2006, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Graves’ conviction, ruling that prosecutors had convinced two witnesses to make false statements and had withheld two statements that could have changed the minds of jurors. A new trial was ordered, but new prosecutors concluded that there had never been a real case against Graves and that, as Graves had contended all along, he was innocent.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
State Rejects Compensation for Wrongly Convicted Man (by Harvey Rice, Houston Chronicle)
Prisoner Ordered Free from Texas' Death Row (by Brian Rogers and Cindy George, Houston Chronicle)


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