Innocent Man On Death Row?

000530_antony graves CBS

Governor George W. Bush recently commented that he believes Texas has never executed an innocent man during his tenure. CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara reports that there is a man now on death row who could possibly become the first.

The crime was horrific. Two women and four children were shot, stabbed and burned to death seven years ago in Somerville, Texas.

Sentenced to die for the killings were Robert Earl Carter and the man Carter testified was his accomplice, Anthony Graves.

Carter was executed by lethal injection on May 31. For years leading up to his death, Carter said, as he did on a defense attorney's videotape in 1997, that he lied, and that Anthony Graves was innocent of the killings.

"Anthony Graves did not have any part in the murders and was not present before, during or after I committed the multiple murders at the Davis home," said Carter.

Even as late as two weeks ago, in an 85-page deposition obtained by CBS News, Carter told state and federal prosecutors at least eight times that Anthony Graves did not have a role in the murders.

When Carter was asked if that meant his testimony at Graves' trial that resulted in his conviction and death sentence was false, Carter answered: true. When asked if he lied, Carter said, "I lied."

Charles Sebesta was the prosecutor in the case. "I think he was there. I think he participated. I think the physical evidence proves it," says Sebesta.

Neither a murder weapon nor Graves' fingerprints were found. But Sebesta says he's satisfied Graves deserves execution. "I'm convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony Graves is guilty," he says.

Roy Greenwood, Graves' defense attorney, rebuts Sebesta's statement. "They don't have any testimony putting him there. They have no physical evidence. They don't have a confession; they don't have anything," says Greenwood. "This case is unreliable. Every bit of it."

Graves' brother, Arthur Curry Jr., has always insisted that Graves was home with him the night of the murders. "There is no justice, especially here in Texas. Had he done that and I knew it, I could not have hid the truth knowing that someone's family was in torture," says Curry.

Graves has not been given an execution date. His lawyer is seeking a new trial.


  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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