Episode 04, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube

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Show notes:

“I didn't know that they were just trying to win a case - that they were seeking a conviction and not the truth.”

A lie staged to a convict an innocent man - the tale of injustice done to Anthony Charles Graves, Death Row Exoneree 138. Anthony was imprisoned for more than 18 years for a crime he did not commit.

Robert Carter, the prime suspect of the brutal murder of six people, claimed Graves assisted him. Robert, married to Anthony’s cousin, was given a choice to identify someone else to cover for his wife, who was also a suspect. The prosecutor was unhappy with Carter's confession, repeated at multiple points, that Graves was uninvolved.

Anthony waited for two and a half years for a trial to prove his innocence. Despite having alibi witnesses and no physical evidence implicating him, with the prosecution's reliance on Carter's testimony, Graves was convicted and sentenced to death.

Prior to his execution, Robert Carter reiterated Graves’ innocence and why he had identified Graves - all of no use. Graves spent 18 and a half years in prison for a horrific crime he never committed, 12 and a half on death row, with two execution dates.

In this episode of the Keep Talking, listen to Anthony Graves’ story of delayed justice and hope - and about two incredibly strong-willed women, journalists Pamela Colloff and lawyer Nicole Casarez, whose work helped lead to Anthony's release.

Time Stamps:

[01:15] Anthony talks about his life before his wrongful conviction.
[04:11] The horrific crime that Anthony was later wrongfully convicted for.
[05:59] How and why Anthony was dragged into the case.
[10:35] Anthony recounts the day he was charged for the murders.
[13:38] The role of racism.
[17:14] Convicted before the hearing and what happened in the court.
[18:50] The defense at the trial.
[20:40] The evidence presented to convict Anthony.
[22:01] Robert Carter’s relationship with Anthony.
[23:08] The reason why Robert Carter testified against Anthony.
[26:42] The conviction of Anthony and the role of the prosecutor.
[34:06] How people began to know about his case and believe that he was innocent.
[39:04] The times Anthony was about to be executed and how he was saved.
[40:15] Life as a murder convict.
[43:04] How Anthony kept from reaching a mental health breaking point.
[44:22] The role of Pamela Colloff and Nicole B. Casarez in saving Anthony’s life.
[55:58] The article that triggered the special prosecutor to recommend that Anthony’s charges be dismissed.
[56:52] The day Anthony was released from prison.
[01:04:43] Anthony’s initiatives in helping innocent people get justice. [01:15:07] Sensationalism and the role of the media in cases of injustice.


“I didn't know that they were just trying to win a case - that they were seeking a conviction and not the truth.”

“I ended up losing 18 and a half years of my life trying to convince white people who didn't know me that I was innocent. I had alibi witnesses. But I still spent 18 and a half years in prison, 12 and a half on death row with two execution dates, and witnessing over 400 people being murdered around me.”

“These people became a jury, who had already determined that I must have done something - otherwise law enforcement wouldn't have me. That's the uphill battle, you have...to prove your innocence, which is not the law. Because you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. But my jurors sat there and said, 'this man must have done something, otherwise you wouldn't have him here.' And they were selected to judge me now.”

“The first thing I think we as the people should change is our mindset about our criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system is broken. Point blank, simple. Our criminal justice system is broken. If you do not believe me, just look at the statistics. Look at the evidence: 170 innocent men have walked off death row in this country that you were once set to kill.”  

I'm very passionate about helping people who have been messed over by our criminal system. I've spent the last 10 years crisscrossing this country and abroad sharing my story in law firms, or different organizations, churches, in different institutions, you name it...”

Relevant Links:

Book mentioned

●  Infinite Hope, by Anthony Graves

People mentioned

●  Pamela Colloff -  journalist, former writer for Texas Monthly; author of two influential articles about Anthony, Innocence Lost and Innocence Found.

●  Nicole Casarez - attorney for Anthony Graves while he was in prison; her legal work was instrumental in his release.

Additional articles

●  Innocence Lost, Texas Monthly, by Pamela Colloff

●  Innocence Found, Texas Monthly, by Pamela Colloff

Resources mentioned

●  Democracy Now with Amy Goodman

●  Innocence Project

Connect with Anthony:

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