Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Former Texas Death Row inmate may be paroled in January

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that "a former death-row inmate awaiting retrial on capital murder charges will remain in jail for at least two more weeks despite bail set by a federal judge here, according to a federal appeals court.

Anthony Graves, who the Texas Innocence Network says is innocent, must remain in the Burleson County Jail until Jan. 4 before he can post bail with the federal court in Galveston, according to a ruling issued late Monday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

If Graves is acquitted at his retrial, as is highly likely, then he will become the first Texas death row inmate to be exonerated since Ernest Willis in 2004.

Texas policymakers need to recognize three facts. 1) there are innocent people, such as Graves, who are still caught up in the system, and some are still on death row 2) innocent people, such as Ernest Willis, have recently been exonerated and 3) innocent people have already been executed in Texas, including Cantu, Willingham and De Luna.

It is past time for Texas to enact a moratorium and stop executions before more innocent people suffer.

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