Six death row exonerees will speak at the 2011 Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break, whichis the most recent death row exoneree in Texas. He was released and exonerated on October 27, 2010 after 18 years in prison, including 14 years on death row in Texas, for a crime that he did not commit. His story was profiled in an article entitled "Innocence Lost" by Pamela Colloff in Texas Monthly a few weeks before his release. Photo of ANthonny receiving $3,000 in donations from Texas Moratorium Network's Scott Cobb.
Graves was convicted for allegedly taking part in the barbarous murder of six family members in Burleson County in 1992. Killed were Bobbie Joyce Davis, her 16-year-old daughter and four grandchildren, all under the age of 10. In addition to being shot, the victims were stabbed and beaten with a hammer, and the house was set on fire. The only thing that linked Graves to the killings was a statement by co-defendant Robert Earl Carter, who claimed that he set the fire but that Graves had slain the family. In 2000, just minutes before Carter's execution, he recanted that statement, and said he was totally responsible for the crimes.Rather than retry him, however, county prosecutors dismissed his case, and Graves walked out of jail last October a free man. He was exonerated and released in 1990. Brandley was working as a high school custodian in Conroe, Texas, in 1980, when police arrested him for the murder of Cheryl Fergeson, a 16-year-old student. In an all-too familiar scenario, the murder of an attractive blonde woman was reflexively blamed on an African-American man. While the police interviewed Brandley and one of his white co-workers, an interrogator proclaimed that, “One of you two is going to hang for this,” and told Clarence, “Since you’re the nigger, you’re elected.” In his first trial he faced an all-white jury. One juror refused to convict, causing a hung jury, and was met with a constant barrage of harassment and threats after the trial ended, ridiculed for being a “nigger-lover.” Clarence’s second all-white jury convicted him, and in 1981 he was sentenced to death. Brandley is the subject of the book White Lies by Nick Davies and a made for cable TV movie, “Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story.”
In 2006, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that not only had prosecutors withheld evidence in Graves' case, they also used false testimony. The case was overturned and a new trial ordered. Graves was taken from Death Row to the Burleson County jail to await another day in court.
was exonerated in 1981 from California’s death row. As a prisoner at San Quentin in the 70’s, Shujaa became part of the prison activist movement, a reflection of the struggles against racism and injustice in the outside communities. In 1973, because of his leadership in the prison movement, Shujaa was targeted and framed in the murder of a prison guard at the Deul Vocational Institute in Stockton, California. The community became involved in his defense and supported him throughout four trials. Shujaa and his co-defendant, Eugene Allen, were sent to San Quentin’s death row in 1976, after a second trial in San Francisco. The district attorney had systematically excluded all African-American jurors, and in 1979, the California Supreme Court overturned the death conviction.
After spending three years on death row, Shujaa and his co-defendant continued to fight for their innocence. A third trial ended in a hung jury and after a fourth trial, they were found innocent. As Shujaa often says, he won his freedom and affirmed his innocence in spite of the system
an innocent man who spent almost six years on death row in Alabama. Gary was sentenced to death in 1995 for the robbery and murder of a 65-year-old automotive junk dealer in Decatur, Alabama. He was assigned two court-appointed lawyers; one specialized in collections and commercial work and another represented creditors in foreclosures and bankruptcy cases. These lawyers failed to present two witnesses: physicians who would have testified that Gary’s recent back injury made committing the crime a physical impossibility. Despite being home at the time of the murders, Gary was convicted and given the death sentence.
After spending 13 years on death row, Albert Burrell was released from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on January 3, 2001, shortly after the Louisiana Attorney General dismissed charges against him and his co-defendant, Michael Graham. They had been sentenced to death in 1987 for the murder of an elderly couple. Their convictions were thrown out because of a lack of physical evidence and suspect witness testimony used at trial. Albert came within 17 days of a scheduled execution in 1996 before his attorneys won a stay. Prosecutor Dan Grady acknowledged that the case was weak and “should never have been brought to [the] grand jury” to begin with.