Monday, January 20, 2014

Anthony Graves and Charles Sebesta

Most people who follow criminal law are familiar with the names Michael Morton and Anthony Graves.

Michael Morton was the man who was wrongfully convicted of Murder based on prosecutorial misconduct of then-prosecutor Ken Anderson.  He served 25 years in prison.

Anthony Graves was the man who was wrongfully convicted of Capital Murder based on prosecutorial misconduct by then-District Attorney Charles Sebesta.  He served almost 20 years in prison, awaiting his execution date.

In the wake of Michael Morton's exoneration, the Rules of Discovery in Criminal Law have been drastically changed and Prosecutor Anderson was (insufficiently) punished with (minimal) jail time and the loss of his law license.

Charles Sebesta, however, has remained unscathed.  

For reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, Sebesta never had to face any consequences for his prosecutorial misconduct that almost resulted in the execution of an innocent man.  He has remained defiant over his behavior, attacking both Anthony Graves and Special Prosecutor Kelly Siegler (who ultimately dismissed the charges against Graves) in full page newspaper ads.

Hopefully, Mr. Sebesta's date with Justice is coming soon.

Today, January 20th, at 3 p.m. on the Texas Southern University campus, Anthony Graves will be holding a press conference, announcing the filing of a grievance against former Burleson County Prosecutor Charles Sebesta.  

Mr. Graves will be joined by Senators Rodney Ellis and John Whitmire, as well as State Representative Senfronia Thompson.  The event is also being supported by Kathryn Kase of the Texas Defender Services, as well as attorneys Bob Bennett and Neal Manne.

In my opinion, the actions of Charles Sebesta were even worse than those of Ken Anderson.  I'm hopeful that today is the first step in making him accountable for his actions.


Lee said...

What Sabesta did does qualify as attempted murder.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

There are many of us who agree with that sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Graves (and his attorneys, maybe even Kelly) ask the Court to hold Sebesta in contempt as well(i.e. Ken Anderson)?

Anonymous said...

I am not a prosecutor. I am a cop; 20 year veteran to be exact. Incidents like these shake me to my core.

Anonymous said...

I am not a prosecutor. I am a cop; 20 year veteran to be exact. Incidents like these shake me to my core.

But you've never done it. Everyone you arrest is always 100% guilty.

dudleysharp said...

I am very glad this lawsuit has been filed.

I trust Kelly Siegler, totally, and have never reviewed this case for myself.

Discovery is a wonderful thing and I am glad there will be a public hearing of both sides.

I am so used to dealing with so many blatant false claims of innocence (1), that, until Kelly's review, I was skeptical of Graves' claims.

Sebesta has wanted a public airing, now he gets an officlal one.

Can't wait.

1) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy

Anonymous said...

I missed this in the news; can you please keep us updated on the outcome. It will be great to see Sebesta get what he's got coming. My heart goes out to Mr. Graves.