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Friday, November 26, 2010

TDCJ Refusing to Follow Order from Texas Attorney General to Disclose Suppliers of Lethal Injection Drugs

TDCJ is refusing to follow an order from the Texas Attorney General to release names of suppliers of lethal injection drugs. The Statesman reported on the issue in last Saturday's paper when some documents were released by TDCJ but not the names of the suppliers of the drugs:
Scott Cobb, president of the Texas Moratorium Network, an Austin-based death penalty abolition group, said the documents shed new light on the process.
"The fact that the doses of (sodium thiopental) expire in March could mean they will have to change the drugs they use or find a supplier — and that's significant," he said. "No one has answered how they get these prescription drugs legally to execute people."
Now an editorial in today's Austin American-Statesman says, "there is no ambiguity in the phrase "may not withhold," but the prison system has not given up its love of secrets — and has not revealed the names of the suppliers of the drugs".
"The prison system should disclose the information as the latest ruling orders.

Furthermore, instead of wasting public time and money defending the indefensible, the prison system should be answering questions about how it intends to carry out executions if a key ingredient in the lethal cocktail is unavailable".
More from Statesman:
Texas has the busiest execution chamber in the country, and Texans have a right to know whether the state's supply of the lethal drugs is sufficient to meet court-mandated executions. Texans also have a right to know how the agency responsible for executions will meet its obligations if the supplies run out.

Prison system lawyers argued that releasing the information would somehow stoke violent anti-death penalty demonstrations — even though there is no history of violent anti-death penalty demonstrations.

"The release of any of the information would be akin to a local DPS office providing a requester (a potential terrorist) with how much ammunition was stored in the office," prison agency lawyer Patricia Fleming argued in urging that the information be withheld.

Assistant Attorney General Leah Wingerson rejected those arguments in great detail.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pflugerville Pflag Front Page Story on Anthony Graves Receiving Donations From TMN

The Pflugerville Pflag published an excellent story today on Anthony Graves receiving $3,000 in donations from Texas Moratorium Network and friends, which we delivered Saturday. They are a weekly newspaper and this edition came out today.

Pflugerville Pflag Story on Death Row Exoneree Anthony Graves Receiving $3,000 in Donations from Texas Mora...

Page 2/2 Pflugerville Pflag Story on Death Row Exoneree Anthony Graves Receiving $3,000 in Donations from T...

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some 2010 Death Penalty Stats for Texas: 17 executions; 8 New Death Sentences (so far); Five People Received Stays of Execution

The number of new death sentences is continuing the decline that it has been following in the past several years. So far in 2010, eight people have been sentenced to death in Texas, which is one fewer than in 2009, but the year is not over yet, so the number could rise. 50 percent of the people sentenced to death in Texas in 2010 are African-Americans and a total of 62.5 percent are people of color, 37.5 percent are white.

One reason for fewer death sentences in recent years is that juries are more reluctant to sentence people to death because they have heard of so many cases of innocent people being exonerated (most recently Anthony Graves) and other problems in the system, so they prefer the alternative of life without parole. State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, the author of Texas' life-without-parole law, has said prosecutors are trying to blame LWOP for their troubles getting Texans to trust a scandal-ridden system, but Lucio has said "it isn't life without parole that has weakened the death penalty. It is a growing lack of belief that our system is fair."

Texas Still Leads in Number of Executions in 2010

Texas still leads the nation in number of executions, with about 38 percent of all executions carried out in the U.S. in 2010. There are still two executions scheduled for 2010 in other states, but Texas has no more executions scheduled in 2010.

In 2010, five people in Texas received stays of execution. Among the five was Hank Skinner, who received two stays of execution.

17 people people were executed in Texas in 2010. 24 people were executed in Texas in 2009.



Inmates added to Texas death row, by year: 

  • 1974---8
  • 1975---17
  • 1976---23
  • 1977---23
  • 1978---39
  • 1979---21
  • 1980---23
  • 1981---22
  • 1982---28
  • 1983---21
  • 1984---21
  • 1985---33
  • 1986---40
  • 1987---35
  • 1988---32
  • 1989---31
  • 1990---28
  • 1991---29
  • 1992---31
  • 1993---34
  • 1994---42
  • 1995---43
  • 1996---37
  • 1997---35
  • 1998---43
  • 1999---47
  • 2000---28
  • 2001---30
  • 2002---35
  • 2003---28
  • 2004---25
  • 2005---15
  • 2006---11
  • 2007---15
  • 2008---9
  • 2009---9
  • 2010 --8 (As of November 13, 2010)

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Video of Interview with Anthony Graves After He Received $3,000 in Donations from Texas Moratorium Network



Click here to watch video of Anthony Graves accepting $3,000 in donations from TMN's president Scott Cobb and then speaking with reporters and supporters on the TMN Facebook Page.

Texas Moratorium Network and friends delivered $3,000 in donations to Anthony Graves that were collected from TMN's supporters and friends from across Texas, other U.S. states and other countries. Scott Cobb, president of TMN, and friends from Campaign to End the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence delivered the donations to Anthony on Saturday, November 20.

According to KVUE:

Anthony Graves was grateful for his freedom and a $3,000 donation from anti-death penalty group the Texas Moratorium Network. The donation is to help him start a new life. The donations were collected from generous people throughout Texas, other U.S. states and other countries who had heard of Anthony's story and wanted to help him after he was exonerated off Texas death row after 18 years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit.

"This is about humanity coming forward so I am very grateful for that," Graves said. "It's a bigger picture than the check that has been written, so I am very grateful for the show of humanity."

The donation is a token, compared what Graves could receive from the State.
He was wrongfully convicted of the 1992 murders of a family of six in the Central Texas town of Sommerville.

Graves' conviction was based solely on testimony from the real killer, Robert Earl Carter, who recanted before he was executed in 2000. Journalism students from The University of St. Thomas in Houston later conducted research that would lead to Graves' freedom. The State could now give Graves 1.5M dollars for his ordeal.

"I was basically kidnapped by the criminal justice system and put on Texas Death Row," Graves says.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video of Anthony Graves Receiving $3,000 in Donations from Texas Moratorium Network


Watch video on YouTube.

From KXAN:

 Dressed in a white sweater vest and black slacks, Anthony Graves , 45, received a $3,000 check from the president of the Texas Moratorium Network at a family member's home in Pflugerville this afternoon to help him get assimilated back into society.
Graves spent the last 18 years, almost half of his life, sitting on death row for six murders he did not commit.
"Whatever you think hell is to you, that's what it is," said Graves of his time on death row.  "That was my experience. It's just hell."
In 1992, a grandmother, her daughter and four grandchildren were killed.  Their Somerville, Texas, home was set on fire to cover up the crime.
Robert Earl Carter, the father of one of the children killed, was convicted of capital murder and given the death penalty.
Carter told authorities he did not act alone and implicated Graves as his accomplice.   He later testified against Graves at trial.
Graves went to prison - he was 26 years old.  All the while, he maintained his innocence.
Prior to his execution in 2000, Carter recanted and said Graves had nothing to do with the murders.
An appeals court overturned Graves' conviction in 2006, when they found prosecutors obtained false information from witnesses at trial.
"I experienced the dark side of our criminal justice system," Graves explained.
Citing a lack of evidence, it took until last month for prosecutors to decide not to retry Graves. 

He was freed from prison.
Now, Graves told KXAN he is not bitter and wants to use his experience to fix what he calls a 'broken' criminal justice system.
"I just want to go out and make a difference. I want to be a part of a solution," Graves explained.
Anthony is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family - then tackling a world that he says has changed so much since he has been gone.
"I am having a hard time with technology just a cell phone. A cell phone just does so much now," Graves said.
Graves also hope to return to school and obtain a degree in communications. 
He will put the $3,000 he received today towards clothing, medical care and other basic necessities.  Graves, however, is now be eligible to get more than a million dollars from the state because of his wrongful imprisonment. 

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Death Row Exoneree Anthony Graves Receives $3,000 Donation From Texas Moratorium Network

KVUE's Jennie Huerta reported on our delivery of $3,000 in donations we collected from Texas Moratorium Network's supporters and friends from across Texas, other U.S. states and other countries. Scott Cobb, president of TMN, and friends from Campaign to End the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence delivered the donations to Anthony on Saturday, November 20. Watch the video on YouTube.



From KVUE:

Anthony Graves is grateful for his freedom and a donation from anti-death penalty group the Texas Moratorium Network.  The donation is to help him start a new life.   
“This is about humanity coming forward so I am very grateful for that,” Graves said.  “It's a bigger picture than the check that has been written, so I am very grateful for the show of humanity.”
The donation is a token, compared what Graves could receive from the State.
He was wrongfully convicted of the 1992 murders of a family of six in the Central Texas town of Sommerville. 
Graves' conviction was based solely on testimony from the real killer, Robert Earl Carter, who recanted before he was executed in 2000.  Journalism students from The University of St. Thomas in Houston later conducted research that would lead to Graves' freedom.  The State could now give Graves 1.5M dollars for his ordeal.
“I was basically kidnapped by the criminal justice system and put on Texas Death Row,” Graves says.
Texas executes more inmates than any other state in the nation.  It is also the most generous state when it comes to compensating the wrongly convicted.  Last year the Texas Legislature increased the amount to 80,000 dollars for each year of wrongful imprisonment.  And just this month, the IRS ruled that it will no longer collect income tax on such compensation.
“I had an intense 18 years of living because of an injustice, so this one-point-four million is a small number, compared to what I've had to give up.” 
Graves says he won't give up on getting justice for himself.  He is going back to court next week.  This time, it is to ask the judge to begin the legal process of getting what the State says he's due.
As part of his compensation, the State could also give Graves a free, four-year college education.  He says he wants to study communication, and become an advocate for others like himself.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Texas' Entire Supply of Execution Drug Sodium Thiopental to Expire in March 2011

The Texas Attorney General has ordered Texas prison authorities to release information on the amount of drugs on hand to carry out executions. We now know that Texas' total supply of one of the three drugs used to perform executions is set to expire in March 2011, so Texas will have to try to obtain more of that drug, unless it decides to use the expired batch, which would probably be challenged in court. 

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice just made public these new details about the three drugs used in executions:
Sodium Thiopental 118 1 gram vials 118 vials will expire March 2011
Purchase date July 2009
Pancuronium Bromide 185 10 milligram vials 60 vials will expire March 2012 / Purchase date March 2010 125 vials will expire December 2011 / Purchase date December 2010
Potassium Chloride 578 20 milliequivalent vials 125 vials will expire September 2011 / Purchase date March 2010 453 vials will expire July 2011 / Purchase date March 2010
At present, Texas has only one execution scheduled after March. Current executions are set in January, February and July.
Sodium Thiopental has been in short supply nationally since earlier this year when the sole U.S. manufacturer stopped making the drug, blaming a lack of ingredients. At least two states have since delayed or halted executions because they are out of Sodium Thiopental or because their supply has expired and cannot be used.
Until this afternoon, Texas prison officials had refused to disclose how much of the various drugs they had on hand and when their supplies expired.
More:

In a new decision, Attorney General Greg Abbott has ordered Texas prison officials to make public previously secret details about the drugs they use in lethal executions.
The five-page ruling dismisses the arguments by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that the quantities, expiration dates and purchase information should be kept a state secret because it could disrupt the execution process in the state with the busiest death chamber.
The decision represented a victory for disclosure advocates, who had argued that prison officials were incorrect in insisting that making the details public might trigger violent protests outside the execution chamber in Huntsville or even embolden death penalty opponents, if they knew the state was about to run short of the drugs.
TDCJ could release the information, or file suit against the attorney general. If it releases the information, the documents could provide the first details in years about the three drugs Texas uses in executing criminals, information that used to be public but in recent years has been restricted.

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Texas Moratorium Network to Deliver $3,000 in Donations to Death Row Exoneree Anthony Graves Saturday November 20

Texas Moratorium Network will deliver $3,000 in donations to Anthony Graves on Saturday, November 20. The donations were collected from TMN's supporters and friends who wanted to help Anthony after his recent exoneration from Texas Death Row. The donors include many people from across Texas, as well as people in other U.S. states and other countries.

It will probably be quite a while before Anthony Graves may receive compensation from the State of Texas for the 18 years he spent incarcerated in Texas for a crime he did not commit. Upon his release Anthony was given only a few hundred dollars. In a phone conversation when TMN informed him of the donations, Anthony said that these donations mean a lot to him because they come from the hearts of the people giving. He said the funds are greatly needed right now.

Next week will be Anthony's first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man after being locked up for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Many very generous people have already donated to help Anthony. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can't wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can also still donate. We will continue to send him donations that arrive after November 20.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.








Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.

Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.



Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.

We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.

In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.

"Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it".

Thank You,
Ernest Willis

Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.



If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

$2527 Raised so Far Through Day 7 of TMN's Fundraising Campaign to Help Anthony Graves - Innocent Person Released from Texas Death Row

As of 4 PM today, Texas Moratorium Network had raised $2527 for Anthony Graves in our fundraising campaign to help Anthony after his exoneration from Texas death row.

Yesterday we got an unexpected phone call from Anthony Graves.  He said thank you to everyone who has donated and he says that these donations mean a lot to him because they come from the hearts of the people giving.  He says the funds are greatly needed right now.

We plan to deliver the funds to him in person this Saturday November 20. Next week will be Anthony's first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man after being locked up for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Many very generous people have already donated to help Anthony. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can't wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can also still donate and we will give him your donation on Saturday.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.








Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.

Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.



Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.

We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.

[UPDATE: the paragraph below talks about our original goal of raising $1,000. We have since far surpassed our original goal thanks to the generosity of so many people.]


So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.  

In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.

"Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it".

Thank You,
Ernest Willis

Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.



If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Received Phone Call From Anthony Graves, Who Says Thank You; Donations to Be Delivered Saturday

We just got an unexpected phone call from Anthony Graves! He says thank you to everyone who has donated and he says that these donations mean a lot to him because they come from the hearts of the people giving. He says the funds are greatly needed right now. We are going to take the funds to him in person on Saturday. There is still time to donate before we deliver the donations. We are at $1949, so just a little more needed to pass $2,000 raised.

We are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help Anthony Graves after his exoneration from Texas death row. We plan to deliver the funds to him the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which will be his first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man in 18 years. A lot of very generous people have already donated. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can't wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can still donate.

As of 3 PM today, we had raised $1949 for Anthony Graves.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.








Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.

Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.



Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.

We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.

[UPDATE: the paragraph below talks about our original goal of raising $1,000. We have since far surpassed our original goal thanks to the generosity of so many people.]


So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.  

In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.

"Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it".

Thank You,
Ernest Willis

Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.



If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, November 14, 2010

$1949 Raised so Far Through Day 5 of Fundraising Campaign to Help Anthony Graves - Innocent Person Released from Texas Death Row

We are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help Anthony Graves after his exoneration from Texas death row. We plan to deliver the funds to him before Thanksgiving, which will be his first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man in 18 years. A lot of very generous people have already donated. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can't wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can still donate.

As of 3 PM today, we had raised $1949 for Anthony Graves.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.








Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.

Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.



Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.

We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.

[UPDATE: the paragraph below talks about our original goal of raising $1,000. We have since far surpassed our original goal thanks to the generosity of so many people.]


So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.  

In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.

"Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it".

Thank You,
Ernest Willis

Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.



If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Breyer Clash Over the Death Penalty

From the AP, Saturday, November 13th, 2010:

Antonin Scalia, 74, the longest-serving current justice, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, and Stephen Breyer, 72, appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton, shared the stage in front of a crowd of thousands during a West Texas event organized by Texas Tech University Law School.

They particularly clashed on the question of capital punishment.

Scalia argued that while there's room for debate about whether the death penalty is a "good idea or a bad idea," it is not cruel and unusual punishment.

"There's not an ounceworth of room for debate as to whether it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because, at the time the Eighth Amendment was adopted — the cruel and unusual punishments clause — it was the only punishment for a felony. It was the definition of a felony. It's why we have Western movies because horse thieving was a felony."

Breyer said 200 years ago, people thought flogging at a whipping post was not cruel and unusual.

"And indeed there were whipping posts where people were flogged virtually to death up until the middle of the 19th century," he said. "If we had a case like that today I'd like to see how you'd vote."

The two bandied about other issues, including Brown vs. The Board of Education, the landmark high court decision in the 1950s that outlawed school segregation case, cable television rulings, and how they view cases that come before them.

Later, Scalia returned to the issue of flogging, saying it's "stupid" but "not unconstitutional, which is stupid. There's a lot of stuff that stupid that's not constitutional."

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Jan 7: Meeting of Texas Forensic Science Commission Willingham Expert Panel

The Texas Forensic Science Commission has rescheduled its next meeting on the Willingham case for January 7, 2011 in Austin. They are expected to hear testimony at this meeting from fire experts. At the last meeting, the scientists on the commission rejected a draft report written by chair John Bradley.

January 7th, 2010 - Willingham Expert Panel

Central Services Building - 1711 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78701 - Room 402 (Map).


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$1624 Raised so Far through Day 4 of Fundraising Campaign to Help Anthony Graves - Innocent Person Released from Texas Death Row

We are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help Anthony Graves after his exoneration from Texas death row. We plan to deliver the funds to him before Thanksgiving, which will be his first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man in 18 years. A lot of very generous people have already donated. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can't wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can still donate.

As of 3 PM today, we had raised $1624 for Anthony Graves.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.








Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.

Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.



Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.

We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.

So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.

In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.

"Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it".

Thank You,
Ernest Willis

Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.



If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


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This is what we have been saying: Questionable capital cases raise hopes for reform

photoJohnny Hanson Chronicle
Barry Scheck, with former Gov. Mark White at left, calls Friday in Houston for a moratorium on executions in Texas and says Gov. Rick Perry "should admit that there was a mistake" in the 2000 execution of Claude Jones. The inmate's son, Duane Jones, stands at right.

Texas Moratorium Network has known for a long time that the upcoming legislative session would be a ripe time for death penalty reforms (in part because of the case of Todd Willingham, and now the case of Claude Jones, and don't forget Kenneth Foster, Jr whose death sentence commutation in 2007 resulted in the Texas House passing a bill to exclude the death penalty as an option in Law of Parties cases in which the accused did not kill anyone). Now it looks like others are catching up with our opinion that the time to push for major death penalty reforms, including a moratorium on executions is now.

In Spring 2011, Texas Moratorium Network will hold a death penalty issues lobby day as we have during every legislative session since 2003. In 2009, it was the largest, most effective anti-death penalty lobby day ever. We look forward to bringing the message to legislators in the coming months that the public is concerned that innocent people are at risk of being executed, there have already been wrongful executions in Texas and action is required now.

From the Houston Chronicle:
It was, at the very least, an odd political sight: former Texas Gov. Mark White, who had sent almost a score of killers to their executions, rubbing shoulders with New York lawyer Barry Scheck at a downtown press conference.
Scheck is co-director of the Innocence Project, an organization whose goal is to free the incarcerated innocent — and to achieve at least a temporary halt to executions in the United States.
Uniting these unlikely allies was this week's revelation through DNA testing that key evidence that led to the execution of career criminal Claude Jones for a 1989 San Jacinto County robbery-murder was faulty.
White, who insists he never sent an innocent man to his death, termed the events leading to Jones' 2000 execution "every governor's worst horror," and called on the coming Legislature to implement wide-ranging changes in the way courts and governors handle death cases.
Foes of capital punishment believe the cases of Jones, executed after then-Gov. George Bush was given an incomplete report about the career criminal's request for a stay, and Cameron Willingham, who was executed in 2004 on the basis of flawed investigations of a Corsicana house fire in which his three children died, will galvanize legislators and the public to demand reform.
Adding fuel to incipient anti-death penalty fervor, they believe, is the recent case of Anthony Graves, who was exonerated after spending 18 years on death row for a Brenham-area murder he did not commit.

No parole now an option

"It's just mind-boggling," said Houston state Sen. Rodney Ellis, who as acting governor oversaw three executions while Bush was on the presidential campaign trail.
Ellis is optimistic that legislators will enact "common-sense reforms" to improve eyewitness identification procedures, record interrogations and provide more money for indigent defense programs.
Five years ago, Texas offered capital juries the option of assessing convicted killers life without parole.
Major Texas newspapers, including the rock-ribbed conservative Dallas Morning News, have weighed in against capital punishment. Significantly, prosecutors have moved away from seeking death sentences.
This year, Harris County prosecutors sought - and juries awarded - death in just two cases.
Rob Owen, director of the University of Texas' capital punishment clinic, agreed.
"There's inevitably more public skepticism about a system that has produced these highly publicized mistakes," Owen said.

Bush unaware of request

The Jones case was the latest in a series that have raised questions about capital punishment.
One day before his execution, Jones petitioned Bush for a stay so that a hair found at the murder scene - the only physical evidence prosecutors had that linked Jones to the crime - could be subjected to DNA testing.
But Bush's staff counsel, Claudia Nadig, recommended in a memorandum that the governor reject the stay request, never mentioning the request for DNA testing.
Scheck on Friday contended that Bush, who had earlier endorsed post-conviction DNA testing in questioned cases, likely would have granted the stay for testing. Recently completed DNA testing of the hair showed that it came not from Jones but from the victim, Point Blank liquor store owner Allen Hilzendager.
Richard Dieter, director of the national Death Penalty Information Center, said innocence campaigns beginning in the 1990s contributed to a drop in death sentences nationally. Fewer such sentences meant less enthusiasm by district attorneys for seeking death, Dieter said.

Some still see support

Casey O'Brien, for 26 years a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, believes Texans will still support capital punishment "in the right case."
But he acknowledged that prosecutors less frequently seek death penalties in murder cases involving robberies. "Aggravated robbery cases are off the board - unless they're serial killers," he said. "You'd try a case like that 15 years ago and you'd get the death penalty."

Process of law respected

Dennis Longmire, a Sam Houston State University criminal justice professor, is optimistic that publicity surrounding claims of wrongful convictions in capital cases will "resonate" with legislators. But the impact on the general public, he believes, may be "disheartening."
"I think there's a greater sense among elected public officials, whatever their opinion of the death penalty, to have a fundamental respect for the orderly process of law," he said. "I think public officials are more responsible than the common person."
Longmire said surveys he conducted several years ago showed that 90 percent of respondents who favored the death penalty believed that, in the state's last 100 executions, an innocent person had been put to death.
"In talking to students," he said, "they say maybe those who were executed were innocent of their crimes but they were probably guilty of something."

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