Man Who Wrongfully Spent Nearly 20 Years on Death Row Appointed to Houston’s Crime Lab Board

 29 Photos Anthony Graves speaks at a press conference Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 in Houston. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Anthony Graves speaks at a press conference Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 in Houston. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

A man who spent almost 20 years in prison, including 12 on death row, for killings he did not commit has been appointed to the board of Houston’s crime lab.

The Houston Chronicle reports Anthony Graves was named Wednesday to the board of the Houston Forensic Science Center. The lab does firearms testing and fingerprint analysis for Houston police and other agencies.

Graves says he’s excited about the opportunity and considers himself an advocate for justice.

“I bring a different perspective. I’ve experienced the total failure of our system from top to bottom,” he told the paper, adding, “I don’t want to be biased one way or the other. I just want the system to work.”

Graves was convicted for the 1992 killings of six people in Somerville, Texas. In 2006, a federal appeals court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison four years later. Ex-prosecutor Charles Sebesta was stripped of his law license earlier this month after a State Bar of Texas panel determined he withheld evidence and used false testimony to win a conviction against Graves.

Sebesta has said he continues to believe Graves is guilty and has posted extensively about the case on his personal website.

“48 Hours” investigated Graves’ case in its Emmy-winning broadcast, “Grave Injustice.” Graves has credited the broadcast with getting the state of Texas to pay $1.4 million in compensation.

SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press

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