Thursday, November 04, 2004

Second innocence case: Anthony Graves

To continue the post from below:

The second person on Texas death row whose name has been in the news lately and who presents a very strong and credible case for innocence is Anthony Graves.

The Houston Chronicle reports the following:

Juror regrets role in capital conviction ---- A new trial could be ordered if judge in Galveston finds evidence hidden

One of the jurors who convicted Texas death row inmate Anthony Graves of capital murder 10 years ago says now that he made a mistake that keeps him awake at night.

"I have lost a lot of sleep over my decision to convict Mr. Graves, and if I had to do (it) over again, I wouldn't do it," Jim Hahn stated in a sworn affidavit for the Texas Innocence Network last week.

In an interview this week from his home in Manvel, south of Houston, Hahn said, "I don't think they proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Graves, convicted in 1994 in the deaths of 6 family members in Somerville, is awaiting a decision by a Galveston judge on whether prosecutors hid evidence that could have persuaded jurors to acquit him. If the answer is yes, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner will order a new trial.

If the answer is no, Graves could be executed for the 1992 slaying of Bobbie Davis, 45, her 16-year-old daughter, Nicole, and Davis' four grandchildren, ages 4 to 9. They were shot and stabbed inside a house, which was burned to hide the crime.

Graves' attorneys, Jay Burnett and Roy Greenwood, said changes in the law prevent courts from considering new evidence.

At the federal level, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of
1996 limits those sentenced to death to a single appeal, even if new evidence is later discovered.

A state law adopted in 1995 imposes the same limit.

"You only get one bite at the apple," Burnett said.

Hahn, 56, said he and a female juror held out through a day and a half of deliberations, but he finally agreed to go along with a guilty verdict after concluding that the other jurors would never change their minds. The woman also later gave in.

Hahn said he believed then that Graves would get a new trial on appeal.

Hahn said the evidence was circumstantial, no murder weapon was found and that he had little confidence in testimony by a convicted killer and a man who claimed to have overheard an incriminating comment by Graves in jail.

Hahn said the memories of that trial came back after he saw a TV news broadcast about information indicating Graves' innocence in a two-year investigation by students from the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
The students participate in the University of Houston Law Center's chapter of the Texas Innocence Network.

Hahn phoned journalism professor Nicole Casarez, adviser to the St. Thomas students, and she sent him an affidavit form that he signed Oct. 19.

Casarez said she has been looking for the other juror who Hahn said was reluctant to convict Graves.

Of the 6 women on the jury, Casarez has found 3, all of whom say they have no regrets about their verdict.

Hahn also was critical of Charles Sebesta, former district attorney for Burleson and Washington counties, who prosecuted Graves.

"I always believed that Graves was set up by (Sebesta) because the prosecutor needed someone to take a fall," Hahn wrote in his affidavit.

Sebesta told the Chronicle, "That's not unusual, to find a juror 10 years later that wants to recant for whatever reasons. That's something the courts will have to address."


Anonymous said...

These guys are not the only ones who are innocent on Texas Death Row - Texas is so unethical in its "justice" system it looks like a barrel of snakes.

Anonymous said...

The Anthony Graves Defense Team, specifically Nicole Cassarez of University of ST. Thomas,, are preparing to go to trial for a re-trial in Burleson County. They need financial help big time. Any network, or resources that can be sent their way, please do so. The Prosecutorial misconduct in Burleson County is Real. I experienced it First hand. Please send an email or make a call to anyone in the death Penalty network that may be able to help. The trial is looking like 2 weeks away. approx September 25th, 2006

Anonymous said...

Think about what he has done to the Davis family...those 4 children and 2 women.He ain't no man-he's a pussy ass coward that deserves to DIE and Go right to hell with Robert Carter! He ain't gone get out of jail.
put that BITCH in the general population and see how it goes!

Anonymous said...

WOW this guys an idiot!! WHO are you to say FUCK ANTHONY GRAVES?! He was innocent and that was go ROT in hell for your shallow comment..loser!!! Nobody deserves to DIE for something they didn't even know happened!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I live in Australia and recently this case came to my attention and I just have to say how pathetic the prosecutions case was. How on earth Anthony was found guilty I just can't conceive. But then again he is black and from what I have heard, Texas is prejudiced against black people.
This is a disgusting miscarriage of justice.