Monday 22 November 2010

Give Thanks for the Exoneration of Anthony Graves!

Give Thanks for the Exoneration of Anthony Graves!
Take Action!
After 18 years in custody, 12 of which he spent on death row, Anthony Graves is a free man! Read the Anthony Gravesfact sheet about his case. 
The Innocence Project, University of St. Thomas journalism professor Nicole Cásarez and her students, and Graves’s legal team worked tirelessly to convince state and federal courts of his wrongful conviction.  A five-month investigation by Washington and Burleson County District Attorney Bill Parham and by the special prosecutor appointed to the case, Kelly Siegler, finally led to his exoneration. On October 27, 2010, Parham announced that “there is nothing that connects Anthony Graves to this crime” and called for his immediate release. Join other TCADP members in sending a letter of appreciation to District Attorney Parham and Kelly Siegler. (See sample message below).
Anthony Graves’s case is a poignant example of the inaccuracies inherent in the death penalty system. It is also a clarion call to prosecutors, who have the power to avoid potentially catastrophic mistakes by seeking sentences other than the death penalty. In  Anthony Graves’s case, Special Prosecutor Kelly Siegler and District Attorney Bill Parham did the right thing by acknowledging the serious flaws in his conviction and dropping all charges against him.
Please join TCADP members across the state in sending letters of appreciation to Siegler and Parham, thanking them for their role in Anthony’s exoneration. Use this sample message, or craft your own:
Dear Ms. Siegler and Mr. Parham,
I applaud you in your efforts to investigate and ultimately drop the charges against Anthony Graves. It gives me confidence in our criminal justice system when the District Attorney and the prosecuting team are willing to critically evaluate whether or not the death penalty is warranted. Anthony Graves’s case is a perfect example of how easy it could be for Texas to execute an innocent man. This is just one of the reasons why I feel that we must abolish the use of the death penalty.
I am encouraged to see that every year there are fewer new death sentences in Texas, and I hope that your experience with Anthony Graves’s case will encourage you in the future to seek alternative sentences, instead of the death penalty.
[Your name and address]
Please send your letters to:
District Attorney Bill Parham
Office of the District Attorney of Burleson County
100 W. Buck
Caldwell, TX 77836
Kelly Siegler
1200 Binz, Suite 1300
Houston, TX 77004
Thank you for taking the time to give thanks! We wish you a healthy and happy holiday!

Texas coalition to abolish the death penalty

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