Ex-Death Row Inmate's Claim For Compensation Is Rejected
After 18 years behind bars, Texas inmate, Anthony Graves was set free last year due to a lack of evidence in the murder case against him. Because the documents ordering his release did not contain the word "Innocent," he is not eligible to receive up to $1.4 million in compensation for his time spent in prison.
The case however, sets a precedent. Robert Earl Carter was Graves' co-defendant convicted of committing the 1992 slayings of six members of a family in Burleson County, Texas. He originally stated that he set the house on fire but blamed Graves for the killings. Carter then took full responsibility for the murders before his death sentence in 2000.
Graves' conviction was overturned in 2006 but he spent years awaiting his trial. Prosecutors dropped the charges but he has yet to be proclaimed innocent.
Nicole Casarez, Graves' lawyer said they may initiate a civil lawsuit since this situation is a new one. "Usually, these are DNA exonerations, but this was a case where charges were dismissed," she remarked.
Anthony remains calm and positive about the scenario stating that he still has faith in the justice system. His mother feels differently, she commented, "They can't buy back what they took away from him...but [the money] could help him, it could help him reestablish his life in society."
Should they overlook the technicality and pay the man for falsely taking away his freedom?