Anthony Graves survived 18 years in prison for murders he did not commit, a dozen of those years on death row, where he was twice scheduled for execution. Yesterday, says the Los Angeles Times, he stood defiant outside a courthouse in a blue pinstripe suit with several state legislators and announced that the State Bar of Texas would be investigating his complaint against the prosecutor who convicted him, Charles Sebesta. “Give us justice,” said Graves, 48, of Houston.
Sebesta, 73, former district attorney in rural Burleson County, 100 miles northwest of Houston, has defended his record and insists that despite Graves' exoneration, he is guilty. “They're bringing in politicians, members of the Legislature, in an attempt to intimidate the state bar,” Sebesta said. “This matter's over.” Some legal experts do not agree with that assessment, including members of the state prosecutors’ association. Two years ago, the Texas District and County Attorneys Association found errors in the Graves case that raised “serious questions about prosecutor misconduct,” including “tunnel vision on the part of the prosecutor” who focused on Graves early on and “stuck to that initial conclusion in the face of many contradictory circumstances.” The state bar will now decide whether Sebesta committed misconduct.