82R12583 MMS-D
  By: Dutton H.R. No. 829
         WHEREAS, Six former death row inmates who have been
  exonerated of the crime for which they were convicted are visiting
  the State Capitol on March 16, 2011, the Day of Innocence, in
  support of a moratorium on executions and other related measures;
         WHEREAS, These men are among the 138 individuals who have
  been released from death row since 1973, either because their
  convictions were overturned and they then won acquittal at retrial
  or had the charges against them dropped, or because they were given
  an absolute pardon by the governor based on new evidence of their
  innocence; their lives forever changed by their wrongful
  conviction, these six individuals are now working to reform the
  criminal justice system; and
         WHEREAS, Convicted of murder in Texas in 1981, Clarence
  Brandley was just weeks away from his scheduled execution when
  evidence of coerced testimony and blatant racism in his first two
  trials prompted the FBI to intervene; three years later, the
  charges against him were dismissed; Mr. Brandley subsequently
  married, apprenticed as an electrician, and became a Baptist
  minister; his life became the subject of a book, White Lies, and a
  cable TV movie, Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story; and
         WHEREAS, Sentenced to death in Louisiana in 1987, Albert
  Burrell was 17 days away from execution in 1996 when his attorneys
  won a stay; the attorney general’s office dismissed the charges
  against him in 2000, citing “a total lack of credible evidence,” and
  later DNA analysis reinforced that assessment; Albert Burrell
  currently lives and works in Center; and
         WHEREAS, Gary Drinkard was convicted in Alabama in 1995; in
  2000, the state supreme court ordered a retrial on the basis of
  prosecutorial misconduct, and the following year a second jury
  found him innocent; Mr. Drinkard’s case was subsequently presented
  to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to illustrate the critical
  need that those facing the death penalty have for competent legal
  representation; and
         WHEREAS, Framed for murder, Shujaa Graham was sentenced in
  California in 1976; the state supreme court overturned his
  conviction because the district attorney had systematically
  excluded African American jurors in his first trial; Mr. Graham was
  ultimately acquitted in 1981, and since then he has played a leading
  role in the anti-death penalty and human rights movements; and
         WHEREAS, Ron Keine was sentenced to death in New Mexico in
  1974 after a witness, under intense pressure from prosecutors,
  fabricated a story about his guilt; the following year, the real
  killer turned himself in, and a new trial for Mr. Keine and his
  codefendants was eventually ordered; before the trial could be
  held, though, a judge threw out the murder indictment on the grounds
  that ballistic tests conclusively linked the confessed killer to
  the murder weapon; freed in 1976, Mr. Keine now owns a business in
  Michigan and is a leader in the campaign to abolish the death
  penalty; and
         WHEREAS, Anthony Graves of Brenham was arrested in 1992 and
  convicted in Texas in 1994, primarily on the testimony of one
  witness who later recanted his story; the Fifth Circuit Court of
  Appeals ultimately overturned Mr. Graves’s conviction in 2006, and
  he was then sent to the Burleson County jail to await his new trial,
  which would be four years in coming; during that time, he was kept
  in solitary confinement; finally, in 2010, 18 years after Mr.
  Graves was first imprisoned, a special prosecutor determined that
  no case against him had ever existed, and the charges against him
  were dropped; and
         WHEREAS, There is no way to restore to these men the years
  they have lost, or to compensate them for the mental and emotional
  anguish they have suffered; notwithstanding the immeasurable pain
  they have endured, however, they have found the resilience to take a
  terrible ordeal and channel their response into constructive
  endeavor; their strength and purposefulness are a testament to
  their remarkable spirit and a continuing inspiration to countless
  fellow citizens; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 82nd Texas
  Legislature hereby honor Clarence Brandley, Albert Burrell, Gary
  Drinkard, Shujaa Graham, Ron Keine, and Anthony Graves for their
  tenacity in the pursuit of justice and for their significant
  contributions to the debate over an issue of paramount public
  concern; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That official copies of this resolution be prepared
  for these gentlemen as an expression of high regard by the Texas
  House of Representatives.
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