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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three days before the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty, Anthony Graves, an innocent man has been released from Texas Death Row

Three days before the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty this Saturday October 30 at 2 PM at the Texas Capitol in Austin, an innocent man has been released from Texas Death Row.

From the Houston Chronicle:

           A Texas inmate sentenced to die in 1994 has been released after prosecutors said today the man is innocent.
Anthony Graves was convicted of assisting Robert Earl Carter in the slaying of a grandmother, her daughter and four grandchildren in the Burleson County city of Somerville.
The dismissal comes 10 years after Carter, whose testimony convicted Graves, said in the moments before he was executed: "Anthony Graves had nothing to do with it. ... I lied on him in court."
Washington-Burleson County District Attorney Bill Parham dismissed the case after he and his team investigated the case for five months.
"He’s an innocent man," Parham said today. "There is nothing that connects Anthony Graves to this crime."
He said the dismissal was just.
"I did what I did because that’s the right thing to do, and I’m fine with it," he said.
An attorney for Graves, Jimmy Phillips, Jr. said his client was released about 5:30 p.m.
"The first place he wanted to go is to go hug his mama," Phillips said. "He is a free man and he’s home."
Kelly Siegler, a prosecutor hired to re-try Graves, agreed with Parham.
"After months of investigation and talking to every witness who’s ever been involved in this case and people who’ve never been talked to before, after looking under every rock we could find, we found not one piece of credible evidence that links Anthony Graves to the commission of this capital murder," Siegler said.
"This is not a case where the evidence went south with time or witnesses passed away or we just couldn’t make the case anymore. He is an innocent man."
In 2006, a three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Graves deserved a new trial after ruling that prosecutors elicited false statements from two witnesses and withheld two statements that could have changed the minds of jurors.
The victims, Bobbie Davis, 45; her 16-year-old daughter, Nicole; and Davis’ four grandchildren, ages 4 to 9,were shot and stabbed inside Davis’ house, which was set aflame to cover the crime.
Graves had been moved from death row to the Burleson County Jail to await a new trial.

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