Texas man wrongly convicted denied compensation after 18 years in prison

By Alex Alonso
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
February 17, 2011 | 12:32 a.m.

A Texas man that was wrongly convicted will have to sue for the $1.4 million due to him. Anthony Graves was expecting to receive his compensation, but the words, “actual innocence” had not been included in the judge’s order. Because of this omission, Graves will receive nothing for the 18 years he spent in prison even though the prosecutor, judge and defense all agreed that Graves was completely innocent.

The compensation law in Texas for innocent inmates grants $80,000.00 per year to inmates found innocent in a re-trial or who are granted a pardon, but Graves had all his charges by the prosecutor’s office dismissed, and because of this oversight in the law, Graves case falls through the cracks.

The judge could have included, “innocent” in the order releasing Graves, but having all his charges dismissed is not adequate enough to receive compensation under Texas law.

There is some speculation that Burleson County District Attorney William Parham with District Judge Reva Towslee Corbett deliberately did not include the language necessary for Graves to receive his compensation.

Graves will have to sue Texas in Federal court if the words of his release order are not amended to include “actual innocence. No one is disputing the fact that lead to Grave’s release but it appears that Texas is not prepared to pay out the $1.4 million right now.

Graves, 45, told The Chronicle, “It doesn’t feel good being a 45-year-old man and having to depend on your family just to make sure you eat. It’s kind of embarrassing. But right now, this is my life.”

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