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Innocence
The death penalty puts innocent people at risk of execution.
Todd Willingham
Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed under Governor Rick Perry on February 17, 2004.

We are in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help Anthony Graves after his exoneration from Texas death row. We plan to deliver the funds to him before Thanksgiving, which will be his first Thanksgiving celebration as a free man in 18 years. A lot of very generous people have already donated. We thank everyone who has donated so far and we can’t wait to deliver the funds to Anthony. You can still donate.

As of 2 PM today, we had raised $1269 for Anthony Graves.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.




Or you can send a check to:
Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731
Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.
Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.

On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.


Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.
We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.
So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.
In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.
“Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it”.
Thank You,
Ernest Willis
Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.


If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


Less than 24 hours after launching our fundraising campaign to help Anthony Graves after his exoneration from Texas death row we have reached 98 percent of our goal of raising $1,000 for Anthony.

As of 7 PM today, we had raised $980 for Anthony.

If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.




Or you can send a check to:
Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731
Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.
Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.

On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.


Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.
We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.
So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.
In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.
“Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it”.
Thank You,
Ernest Willis
Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.


If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.


On October 27, Anthony Graves became the 12th person exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to Texas death row. Anthony is a completely innocent man who spent a total of 18 years locked up for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with. Twelve of those years were spent on Texas death row in a tiny cell having his food shoved through a small slit in the door. The other years were spent in jail awaiting retrial and facing the prospect of again being sentenced to death. Anthony is now back in the loving embrace of his family and friends and soon he will enjoy his first Thanksgiving holiday as a free man in 18 years.

Many amazing people were responsible for working to prove that Anthony Graves was innocent and to get him out of prison. The Houston Chronicle called them “an army of believers, a group of lawyers and students who fought to prove his innocence”. Those amazing people include lawyers and students at the Texas Innocence Network, which was founded by University of Houston law professor David Dow; defense lawyers Katherine Scardino and Jimmy Phillips; University of St. Thomas journalism professor Nicole Casarez and her students; and David Mullen and Jeff Blackburn with the Innocence Project of Texas. Of course Anthony’s family and Anthony himself also fought to prove his innocence. Journalists also played a major role in bringing attention to the plight of an innocent person on Texas death row, including Pamela Coloff at Texas Monthly in her article “Innocence Lost”. We all owe those lawyers, students and journalists a debt of gratitude for preventing another innocent person from being executed in Texas.

Now that he is free, read on to see how you can help Anthony Graves now that he has been released.

Upon his release, the new prosecutors handling Anthony’s case declared him innocent, dropped all charges and accused the prosecutor who had first convicted him of prosecutorial misconduct that was “the worst I’ve ever seen,” according to new prosecutor Kelly Siegler. “Charles Sebesta handled this case in a way that could best be described as a criminal justice system’s nightmare,” Siegler declared. “It’s a travesty, what happened in Anthony Graves’ trial.”
Asked if Sebesta should face criminal prosecution for his actions, Siegler said, “Well, the statute of limitations has run on all that.” She also said Parham’s office has not discussed whether a complaint to the State Bar of Texas is appropriate.
The Dallas Morning News reports that while the statute of limitations on prosecutorial misconduct has expired, some defense attorneys are suggesting the proseuctor be charged with attempted murder. The idea may seem to be a stretch but Katherine Scardino, one of Graves’ attorneys noted that Sebesta tried to have Graves executed. Graves says he doesn’t have time to be bitter but Scardino noted, “There’s no statute of limitations for murder”.
Texas Moratorium Network would like to help Anthony transition to his new life. We have spoken to one of his attorneys and she expects a legal fight before Anthony claims any compensation from Texas for his years of wrongful conviction. In fact, it will likely take quite a while before he receives any money from the State. Upon his release on October 27, he was only given a few hundred dollars.
We asked his lawyer how we could help. She told us that he is in need of the basics of life, including new clothes, pocket money, and all the other normal things that a person would need whose nightmarish false conviction at the hands of the state has just ended. He needs to get on with his life and with your help we can give him a little help making the adjustment to freedom.
So, we would like to ask everyone to help us help Anthony Graves. We would like to be able to raise and send him $1,000 before Thanksgiving. If we raise more, then that would be even more helpful for him. If you would like to help, you can send a donation and we will pass it along to Anthony. $1,000 is not much in the great scheme of things, but it will help Anthony at a time when he could really use it.
In 2004, after Ernest Willis was exonerated and released from Texas death row, Texas Moratorium Network asked our supporters to help Ernest. We were able to raise $1,000 in a short time and send it to Ernest in 2004. We received the below message from Ernest Willis after he received our check for $1,000 in 2004.
“Hello, I do appreciate the donations & your time & help in getting the donations. Yes, the state of Texas gave me $100.00 when I was released & that was all. I am doing okay since my release & am very happy to be free. I have not had any problems adjusting to the life out here.
Again -I do appreciate the help, it is greatly appreciated as I do need it”.
Thank You,
Ernest Willis
Now, it is time to help another innocent person just released from Texas Death Row.
If you would like to donate to help Anthony Graves, you can make a donation to TMN using a credit card by clicking here.




Or you can send a check to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731
Please note on your check that your donation is for Anthony Graves. If you want to include a short note to Anthony, we will deliver your note along with the check we give him with all the donations. We want to give him the donations before Thanksgiving, but if we receive any donations for him after Thanksgiving, we will send him those donations too.
Donations to Texas Moratorium Network are not tax deductible because our primary mission is to advocate to the Texas Legislature to stop executions.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to help Anthony, you can make a donation to the 501 (c) (3) organization Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center.
For more on the case of Anthony Graves, here are some links to news articles about him:
“Editorial: Death-row case underscores fallibility”, Dallas Morning News Editorial Board, October 28, 2010.
“Innocence Lost” by Pamela Coloff, Texas Monthly, October 2010.
Rick Perry says that the Graves case is an example of the system working, but we know that it is an example of a fundamentally flawed system that has repeatedly sentenced innocent people to death and allowed some of them to be killed by the State of Texas while asserting their innocence with their last breaths, including Todd Willingham. Starting in January, TMN will be spending a lot of time at the Texas Legislature advocating for a moratorium on executions and other reforms, including finding a way to hold prosecutors accountable for misconduct leading to wrongful convictions.

If you are unable to afford a donation to Anthony right now, please keep him and his family in your thoughts, especially when you gather your family around the table on Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you,
Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network
Below is a photo of a typical cell on Texas death row. Anthony Graves lived in such a cell even though he was an innocent person.

Senator Rodney Ellis introduced an “Innocence Protection Package” for the upcoming Texas legislative session. One bill that he should add to the package is a bill to enact a moratorium on executions, since that is the best way in the short term to ensure that an innocent person is not executed. Texas Moratorium Network lobbied for a moratorium as early as the 2001 session. If the Legislature had enacted a moratorium in 2001 or 2003, then Todd Willingham would likely not have been executed before it was established that he had been wrongfully convicted using junk forensic science.

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2010
Contact: Tina Tran, 512-463-0113

Ellis Introduces “Innocence Protection Package” for 2011 Legislative Session

(Austin, TX)—Today Sen. Rodney Ellis introduced an ambitious package of criminal justice reform bills to prevent wrongful convictions. The Houston Senator’s “Innocence Protection Package” incorporates many of the recommendations from the Tim Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions, a bi-partisan group with major criminal justice stakeholders that was established last session to investigate the causes of, and ways to prevent, wrongful convictions. The Innocence Protection Package includes legislation to: increase the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness identification procedures (SB 121); require electronic recording of custodial interrogations for serious felonies (SB 123); improve the state’s post-conviction DNA testing statute (SB 122); and update the Fair Defense Act to improve criminal defense representation for indigent defendants (SB 170).

“I have high hopes that 2011 will finally be the year that the Texas Legislature says ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to putting innocent people in prison,” said Sen. Ellis. “Ensuring that evidence is reliable, the innocent are freed and the truly guilty are punished are things that Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and progressives can agree on. Let’s prove to the people of Texas and the world that restoring trust in the criminal justice system is one of the Lone Star State’s top priorities.”

In recent months, numerous Texans have been released from prison or jail after it was determined they were wrongfully convicted. On October 27, Anthony Graves was released from jail after being incarcerated for 18 years, twelve of them on death row. In July, two men from Harris County were freed after it was determined they were wrongly incarcerated. Michael Anthony Green was released after being locked up 27 years for a rape he didn’t commit. New DNA tests proved his innocence. Allen Wayne Porter was set free after spending 19 years in prison for a rape and robbery in which he was not involved.

The Innocence Protection Package seeks to address the most common cause of wrongful convictions — mistaken eyewitness identification — by requiring all law enforcement agencies to have written eyewitness identification procedures designed to increase accuracy and reduce wrongful convictions. Over 85 percent of Texas’ 43 DNA exonerations were due to a mistaken eyewitness, yet only 12 percent of law enforcement agencies in Texas have written eyewitness identification procedures.

Another cause of wrongful convictions is false confessions. The Tim Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions recommended that suspects in serious felonies like murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault should have their full interrogation recorded.

“My hope is that the recommendations of the Tim Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions, combined with these recent exonerations, will result in a renewed focus by the legislature and governor on ensuring accuracy, fairness, and due process in our criminal justice system,” said Ellis.

Before his execution, Todd Willingham said, “Please don’t ever stop fighting to vindicate me.” On October 30, 2010 hundreds of people joined the fight by attending the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

Eugenia Willingham

In the photo above, Eugenia Willingham is speaking on the giant Jumbotron to the crowd at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty. Her remarks included reading an excerpt from a letter written by Todd Willingham. She said Todd’s dream was to abolish the death penalty and she hoped we could all work together to make Todd’s dream come true.

The 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty was held in Austin at the Texas Capitol October 30, 2010.

Elizabeth Gilbert also spoke at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Elizabeth Gilbert at 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Speaking about Todd Willingham

Elizabeth is a Houston teacher and playwright who befriended Texas death row prisoner Todd Willingham. Her story is featured in the New Yorker article by David Grann about the case as well at the Frontline Documentary “Death by Fire” (Click to watch online). Elizabeth actively investigated the case on her own. She became convinced of Todd’s innocence and was instrumental in helping his family find an expert fire investigator to examine his case.

The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Death Penalty Free Austin, and Kids Against the Death Penalty.

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