The content in this editorial piece may irk quite a few people; it certainly irked me. The Texas comptroller is refusing to pay $1.4 million owed to an innocent man, Anthony Graves, wrongfully convicted of murder. He spent 18–let me repeat, 18–years of his life in incarceration, “most of it on death row.”
The reason Mr. Graves is being denied payment is because it came down to two words–let me repeat that; two words–being omitted from the release order. What words were omitted? “Actual” and “innocence.”
To add insult to injury, an automated system “tagged Graves for owing back payments of child support” during the time Mr. Graves was on death row. As the editorial points out, the person most responsible for causing Mr. Graves to miss making his child support payments is former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta, who “almost single-handedly forced the Graves case through the courts using lies by the real killer to convict a man with a solid alibi.”
Mr. Sebesta nearly took away and ruined another human being’s life. Anthony Graves’ opportunity to raise his children–all of whom are adults–and watch them grow up was taken from him in an instant. Not only that, Sebesta sent an INNOCENT man to prison. Not only was this innocent man in prison, he actually spent time fearing he would be put to death. What would have happened had the state executed Mr. Graves? No amount of money nor any apology would bring him back to life.
Mr. Graves’ case provides important and urgent reasons why Troy Davis’ case should be reviewed. Mr. Davis, who may be innocent of his crime, is currently sitting on death row. Unfortuantely for him, the courts have denied all requests to review his case even though many of the witnesses who testified against him have recanted their stories.
Mr. Grave’s story and Mr. Davis’ story show how justice has not truly been given to them. Maybe it’s time that both men are given the justice that has evaded them.