Texas Monthly magazine won the City and Regional Magazine Association’s annual Civic Journalism award for its story “Innocence Lost,” by Pamela Colloff. She told the story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Graves for the murder of six family members. Graves was charged in connection with the 1992 deaths of a woman, her daughter and her four grandchildren, each stabbed many times before their home was set ablaze.
The prime suspect, Robert Carter, had fingered Graves as the killer. Although at least three people could place Graves at his mother’s apartment at the time of the crime and no physical evidence linked him to the scene, he was charged with capital murder. With the help of Carter’s testimony, he was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to death. Graves likely would have been executed if not for a pivotal admission by the case’s lead prosecutor, District Attorney Charles Sebesta, who let slip that Carter had, in fact, confessed to having committed the murders by himself. Carter was executed in 2000.