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Houston crime lab board hires exoneree Anthony Graves, former death row inmate

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Exonerated Texas death row inmate appointed to Houston crime lab board

The Associated Press – June 25th 2015

A man who spent almost 20 years in prison, including 12 on death row, for killings he did not commit has been appointed to the board of Houston’s crime lab.

Anthony Graves was named Wednesday to the board of the Houston Forensic Science Center, which provides firearms testing and fingerprint analysis for Houston police and other agencies, the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1dhz09A) reported.

Graves was convicted in helping Robert Earl Carter in the 1992 killings of six people. Carter was executed in 2000, and two weeks before his death, he said in a sworn statement that his naming of Graves as an accomplice was a lie.

In 2006, a federal appeals court reversed his conviction and he was released from custody four years later. Ex-prosecutor Charles Sebesta was stripped of his law license after a State Bar of Texas panel determined he committed professional misconduct when prosecuting Graves.

Graves said he’s excited about being named to the board and considers himself an advocate for justice.

“I want the system to be fair. When the system works and we are all treated equally, that’s when we can cut down on the number of wrongful convictions and bad mistakes,” he said. “If we get the right person, we can actually be safe.”

Nicole Casarez, an attorney and journalism professor at the University of St. Thomas, also is on the city’s forensic science board. She had worked for years to exonerate him. Graves said she’s the “person who saved my life.”

Graves said he doesn’t hold a grudge against the law enforcement community.

“I don’t want to be biased one way or the other,” he said. “I just want the system to work.”

 

This article originally appeared on the June 25th edition of the Houston Chronicle, to view it on their website click here.

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