Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) released the following statement regarding Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs announcement that exonoree Anthony Graves has received compensation from the state.
“This is a great day for justice in Texas. On October 27, 2010 Anthony Graves was released from jail after being incarcerated for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Unfortunately, it has taken months of wrangling and debate to eliminate the red tape to ensure Mr. Graves the compensation we owe him. Thankfully, the Comptroller, Attorney General, and Governor’s Office were willing to help me craft and pass legislation with Rep. Anchia that will help make amends for the damage done to Mr. Graves from prosecutorial misconduct.
“There is no silver bullet to preventing wrongful convictions, but we made great progress this session by passing legislation to improve eyewitness identification procedures and the post conviction DNA statute. I believe the compensation legislation we passed this last session eliminates some of the hurdles and bureaucratic inertia that has prevented some wrongfully imprisoned Texans from receiving the justice they deserve in a much more timely fashion, but further improvements are needed. I join the Comptroller in her call for a workgroup or interim charge to review what other legal reforms are needed to ensure that every wrongfully convicted person receives the compensation they so rightly deserve.”