Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 17, 2011

Exonerated After 18 Years on Death Row, Anthony Graves Will Not Be Compensated on a Legal Technicality

by Stephen Littau

Anthony Graves, the 12th death row inmate to be exonerated in Texas, will not receive his $1.4 million compensation for serving 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The sum of $1.4 million might sound like a lot of money until one considers all the years of lost income potential, time pursuing his dreams, time with family and friends, and basically enjoying the everyday freedoms most of us take for granted. When considering what Anthony Graves has lost, $1.4 million is a mere pittance of what he deserves and an insult to any notion of justice.

But Anthony Graves will not get $1.4 million pittance from the State of Texas despite this injustice.

Why?

The Texas Comptroller’s office’s rationale is that the phrase “actual innocence” is nowhere to be found in the judge’s ruling that set Graves free. Apparently, none of the other combinations of words to which most reasonable people would reach that very conclusion in the judge’s ruling doesn’t matter. As Donald Pennington put it writing for Yahoo! News, Anthony Graves has been “Twice Robbed by the State of Texas.”

Pennington writes:

Why weren’t state employees, such as the prosecutor, as adamant about following the rules when they were trying the case? It was discovered by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006 that prosecutors had withheld evidence and elicited false testimony in their case against Anthony Graves from 1994. If the “rule of law” is so important to these sorts of bureaucrats, why are those rules so subjectively applied?

For that matter, when prosecutors commit these sorts of abuses, why aren’t they brought up on charges? Isn’t this sort of case a perfect example of unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and felony conspiracy? Since Anthony Graves was, in fact, on death row for something he did not do, shouldn’t those people working in the prosecutor’s office (at the time) be charged with attempted murder?

I couldn’t agree more with Pennington’s sentiments here. Why can’t the prosecutor and those working for him be charged with these above crimes? I imagine that if prosecutors were actually held criminally responsible for what would be crimes if committed by anyone else, we might then (finally) hear some talk of reforming the system. Let one prosecutor receive a death sentence for falsely putting someone else on death row, just one…

Freedom is sexy, so share!Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter6Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Digg thisShare on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn4Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone
TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2011/02/17/exonerated-after-18-years-on-death-row-anthony-graves-will-not-be-compensated-on-a-legal-technicality/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •
  • Peter

    I think those prosecuters should be required to give him the money.

  • Justin Bowen

    I think those prosecuters should be required to give him the money.

    I think the tax-payers should give him the money. If it starts becoming costly for tax-payers when the government screws up or does something that ought to be downright criminal then maybe they’ll demand that more care be taken and that prosecutors and judges be eligible for prosecution.

    As for Mr. Graves, at least he wasn’t ordered to pay arrears (on child support) for the time that he was in prison like Clarence Brandley was.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML