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(Dallas News)   Texas: puts an innocent man in jail for 18 years. He gets out, so they refuse to pay him the $1.44 million state law says they owe him. Then they attach his wages for child support he owes. Why does he owe it? Texas: puts an innocent man in jail   (dallasnews.com) divider line 315
    More: Asinine, IOU  
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26311 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 May 2011 at 9:51 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-05-05 12:48:25 AM  

Hrist: jst3p: Hrist: There are three levels of guilt. Guilty, not guilty due to lack of evidence, and not guilty. Not guilty due to lack of evidence means that you're still guilty but that they couldn't meet the minimum standards for guilt for a crime.

Huh? Some people are found not guilty due to lack of evidence and that is the same as being found guilty?

I am going to need some more information here.

That's what I'm gathering from this story, yeah. Instead of saying, "Sorry, we imprisoned you for almost twenty years off of flimsy evidence that was made up by one person with no witnesses. Here's a shiat ton of money, hope this helps to make things right." they're saying, "We know you're guilty, so you're lucky you're getting out. You better learn to pay your OTHER dues to society, boy, or you'll be right back in here in a week! Just because the fancy schmancy legal system says we can't keep you doesn't mean you didn't do it! You're still guilty, we just can't prove it!"


Oh, so your "there are three levels of guilt" was just pulled out of your ass.

Gotcha.
 
2011-05-05 12:48:27 AM  

jadedlee: the best options are probably malicious prosecution (which this case probably doesn't fit), or abuse of process.


the best option would be action under section 30-06
 
2011-05-05 12:51:07 AM  

TheWhoppah: relcec: [...] Civil Practice & Remedies Code [...]

Do you realize that its unlikely any full-time criminal defense attorneys have even looked at the civil practice & remedies code since law school? You might as well be asking a software engineer to balance organic chemistry equations. Yeah maybe they did it for one semester back in school but good luck with relying on their answer.


wtf?
you don't even look at crap in law school.
you only look at it when you look it up when you have exonerated someone in a case and you need to make sure you can get your client paid. that's the farking point.
you don't memorize all the law in the world preparing for the day you may sometime need use it, silly. you learn how to find it, think about it, argue about, write about it, and apply it.
 
2011-05-05 12:55:29 AM  
Maybe the part of all this you don't understand is that, unlike what you see on television, plain old "I'm innocent" is NOT grounds for an appeal.

Even "I'm innocent and I have evidence to prove it" is not grounds for an appeal.

For an appeal, somebody had to fark up somewhere. It could have been the police, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney or a witness.

So, when a conviction is overturned on appeal, the default position is that it was overturned because of SOME sort of farkup. If you want to have it on the record that you were actually innocent that requires an explicit finding by the courts because it is not the normal or default position.

Without the explicit finding of innocence the Comptroller is limitted in what she can do, even if she knows right from wrong.
 
2011-05-05 12:55:29 AM  
"former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta" Who fabricated evidence in an attempt to send a man to the gas chamber.
So, this Sebesta guy is on trial for attempted murder, right?
If not, he should be. When prosecutors lose their "above the law" status, states like Texas will slow down the number of innocent people they kill, cut down on the number of exonerated men owed millions of dollars.
 
2011-05-05 12:56:20 AM  

Schlock: Schlock: jadedleeI fail at refreshing before posting. Sorry for the repeat there.

The appeals process is extremely messy and really depends on what the grounds are for an appeal. You can challenge convictions based on things like racial makeup of the jury (although not really anymore, thanks SCOTUS), prosecutorial misconduct or Brady violations (meaning not all of the exculpatory evidence was given to the defense and therefore they were not able to make a comprehensive case), you can challenge whether the law you were convicted of violating is even legal in the first place (see Lawrence v. Texas where the conviction was on a law that was ruled unconstitutional). There are possibilities for having evidence ditched in appeals, like having a confession ruled inadmissible because of a Miranda violation the original trial did not account for, etc. The list goes on, it also depends on what was presented at the original trial, what the state law is and what the court will allow. None of those situations involve a claim of actual innocence, except possibly the Brady violations, but in most cases the information sought would have created doubt in the original trial, meaning not guilty.

Thanks for that

To expand on that, it didn't occur to me that post-conviction judgements would be any different than those in the initial trial, and you cleared it up nicely. It's still kind of messed up that you can be found not guilty and not have that equate with innocence, but I can sort of see why it is the way it is.


Oh the justice system is basically one big brain fark that's almost impenetrable to logic. I actually didn't do a very good job summarizing that stuff (blame the Magic Hat, ok?) but it should give you some idea of what a few possibilities are. There's also the difference between the appeal of a state conviction within the state system, or of a state conviction to the federal system, then there is the general idea that the jury in the original trial was the infallible arbiter of fact and anything presented cannot be reassessed by any other court. Appeals are to decide whether something systemic went wrong, not whether the conviction was right or not. That's where you get the Scalia quote: "This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeus court that he is 'actually' innocent." (Thankfully, it was written in a dissent and the majority ordered a review of the relevant murder conviction.) The point is appeals are much more about process and much less about facts. Scalia says if you ran out of process he doesn't give a fark whether you can prove you didn't do it because he's already got his execution celebratory cigar prepped, and a cigar delayed is a cigar denied or something.
 
2011-05-05 12:59:04 AM  
You can coulda, shoulda, woulda all day long but a criminal defense attorney has no business in the Civil Practices and Remedies Code.

Damned dentist didn't notice my infected toe! WTF a dentist is a doctor! Sue the bastard!
 
2011-05-05 12:59:50 AM  

Fett56: 1-phenylpropan-2-amine: $1.4m - $5k. Problem?

Yes. He owes the $5k for being in prison due to false charges. If he hadn't been in prison, he wouldn't not have incurred the $5k debt. Therefore the prosecutor should have to pay the $5k. And then be whipped.


No. The debt is because he was a parent. Had he not been in jail he would have earned the money and paid it at the time.

Since part of that $80k/yr is to make up for lost wages the $5k should come from it.
 
2011-05-05 01:01:30 AM  

relcec: jadedlee: relcec: jadedlee: relcec: nm: Fett56: It is an admittedly bad suggestion, but due to their incompetence in securing a verdict that would allow him to simultaneously be released from prison, and immediately start getting payments from the state.Instead he has to file a lawsuit to prove what everyone knows is true, and the defense attorney actually profits from his original farkup. Assuming he is still using the same attorney, which I would not be.So a) attorney farked up and b) attorney potentially gets paid for farking up.
Yes, he farked up so bad that he got him off of death row.
The standard for legal malpractice is ineffective assistance, and no one will ever win such a case when the lawyer you are suing too you from death row to home. The attorney may have been a bit more concerned with the state killing his client than getting a verdict that would get him paid. And for the record, you only get factual innocence if the prosecutor agrees, which they won't, and you risk a trial again instead of just accepting a dismissal, or you have to win it in a hearing, which is what this guy is doing now. In any event it is unlikely that he'll need to prove actual innocence and rather the state is being a bunch of jackasses.

Second as nearly all death penalty people are indigent, so he likely had a occur appointed attorney. As Texas is notorious for having some of the lowest indigent pay possible, no one is getting rich off this. It is also likely this was the work of a pro bono innocence project.

The defense attorneys did absolutely nothing wrong here. They did their job, extremely well. I say this as an actual criminal defense attorney, not some dude.

really? all he had to do was check the statute for the language needed to make sure he got paid by the state. the prosecutor and judge had already agreed that he was ACTUALLY INNOCENT and he was going home.

Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get someone off death row? In Texas, no less? I'm sure you could do it by taking out books from the library and checking statutes. Yeah, his defense team, they were so incompetent because their foremost concern was getting the guy exonerated. What a bunch of greedy dirtbags for just saving his life.

doesn't matter. he had a duty to represent effectively all the way through, not stop working once he got the real killer to admit his guilt.
more importantly this is the heartbreak story of the century. a jury would want to see this man get paid, and a deep pocketed mal practice insurance company would be perfect. from the insurance companies view point it's better to just pay the man then pay the man now than pay the man and pay a bunch of lawyers later.

I think every reasonable person with an ounce of compassion wants to see this man get paid, but you're looking in the wrong place. Like I just posted, the bulk of the work on this case was done by journalism students on behalf of the Innocence Project. Yes, you'll have a lawyer who headed that team and could be liable, but what are you thinking? Let's bankrupt the organization that helps innocent people for free so that they can't help anyone else! Something something good deeds unpunished.

that's why the victim in this case won't do it.
he's apparently just happy to be alive.


What I just read suggests he's working with a civil firm to challenge the idiot comptroller, or possibly the narrow wording of the statute when the circumstance clearly fits legislative intent behind the fund, who knows. That's both his best bet for getting more money and probably the only moral option he'd be willing to take. The courts are supposed to interpret laws, including assessing intent, so it's likely the right approach.
 
2011-05-05 01:02:49 AM  

TheWhoppah: The law is pretty clear. We don't give payouts to people who were merely legally not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt... you only get paid if you were actually innocent. That makes sense if you think about it. If you really did do it but he cops can't prove it or maybe they can prove it but they used illegal evidence and the conviction was overturned... you don't get paid.

The law says we only pay people who were released because they are actually innocent. The court order does not say he was actually innocent. The Comptroller is an accountant. She is not qualified to determine if a person is actually innocent. How would you like it if the perosn elected to be your state accountant just decided to bend the rules and pay somebody a million dollars of your tax money?


i1125.photobucket.com

/NTTAWWT
//Texas: foreign country, foreign laws.
 
2011-05-05 01:06:13 AM  

Lehk: section 30-06


Umm... Trespass by holder of license to carry concealed handgun? Like I said, I don't know Texas law at all, but still...
 
2011-05-05 01:06:18 AM  

Loren: Fett


Ok, good point. Got me there.
 
2011-05-05 01:09:19 AM  
This is the kind of thing that makes me cheer on wildfires.
 
2011-05-05 01:09:49 AM  
A thirty aught six is a rifle.

He was suggesting killing the DA for revenge. Funny how these out-of-state farkwits get all holier than though about Texas justice shortfalls and then suggest assination as a solution.
 
2011-05-05 01:10:51 AM  

Baron-Harkonnen: Have you guys ever coughed up a chunky, white piece of...something...that smelled like the pure essence of bad breath in solid form?


I believe thats called a tonsil stone.
 
2011-05-05 01:11:53 AM  
haha mavs win again. suck it lakers
 
2011-05-05 01:16:34 AM  

jadedlee: relcec: jadedlee: relcec: jadedlee: relcec: nm: Fett56: It is an admittedly bad suggestion, but due to their incompetence in securing a verdict that would allow him to simultaneously be released from prison, and immediately start getting payments from the state.Instead he has to file a lawsuit to prove what everyone knows is true, and the defense attorney actually profits from his original farkup. Assuming he is still using the same attorney, which I would not be.So a) attorney farked up and b) attorney potentially gets paid for farking up.
Yes, he farked up so bad that he got him off of death row.
The standard for legal malpractice is ineffective assistance, and no one will ever win such a case when the lawyer you are suing too you from death row to home. The attorney may have been a bit more concerned with the state killing his client than getting a verdict that would get him paid. And for the record, you only get factual innocence if the prosecutor agrees, which they won't, and you risk a trial again instead of just accepting a dismissal, or you have to win it in a hearing, which is what this guy is doing now. In any event it is unlikely that he'll need to prove actual innocence and rather the state is being a bunch of jackasses.

Second as nearly all death penalty people are indigent, so he likely had a occur appointed attorney. As Texas is notorious for having some of the lowest indigent pay possible, no one is getting rich off this. It is also likely this was the work of a pro bono innocence project.

The defense attorneys did absolutely nothing wrong here. They did their job, extremely well. I say this as an actual criminal defense attorney, not some dude.

really? all he had to do was check the statute for the language needed to make sure he got paid by the state. the prosecutor and judge had already agreed that he was ACTUALLY INNOCENT and he was going home.

Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get someone off death row? In Texas, no less? I'm sure you could do it by taking out books from the library and checking statutes. Yeah, his defense team, they were so incompetent because their foremost concern was getting the guy exonerated. What a bunch of greedy dirtbags for just saving his life.

doesn't matter. he had a duty to represent effectively all the way through, not stop working once he got the real killer to admit his guilt.
more importantly this is the heartbreak story of the century. a jury would want to see this man get paid, and a deep pocketed mal practice insurance company would be perfect. from the insurance companies view point it's better to just pay the man then pay the man now than pay the man and pay a bunch of lawyers later.

I think every reasonable person with an ounce of compassion wants to see this man get paid, but you're looking in the wrong place. Like I just posted, the bulk of the work on this case was done by journalism students on behalf of the Innocence Project. Yes, you'll have a lawyer who headed that team and could be liable, but what are you thinking? Let's bankrupt the organization that helps innocent people for free so that they can't help anyone else! Something something good deeds unpunished.

that's why the victim in this case won't do it.
he's apparently just happy to be alive.

What I just read suggests he's working with a civil firm to challenge the idiot comptroller, or possibly the narrow wording of the statute when the circumstance clearly fits legislative intent behind the fund, who knows. That's both his best bet for getting more money and probably the only moral option he'd be willing to take. The courts are supposed to interpret laws, including assessing intent, so it's likely the right approach.


I'm not entirely sure the comptroller or law is at fault here. have you seen what the actual court documents say? the law requires "a certification of the claimant's actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced" that doesn't seem way out there to me.
but yes, how can you go after the guy who saved your life because he cost you money? even if that's what mal practice insurance for. unless the guy begged you to do it, how could you?
 
2011-05-05 01:16:55 AM  
Time for 'true story bro'.

When I got divorced in the grand state of Maryland...you had to go through the court system for child payment (PG County).

I would send my check on the 1st of the month to the county, but she wouldn't receive payment until last of the month.

She was...what's up with that and so I took her by hand and we went and I sent a certified mail on the first.

Again she got it on the 26th or so.

And that was the last time we went through them, but it was all on her to call them and withdraw from the program.

Oh and they warned her...that she couldn't come back etc.


End result is I gave her six months of checks, she cashed one on the first every month.


The also pulled us into court without reason trying to up my child support payment to which my wife told the judge...I don't understand why we are here...I never asked for this, I'm fine with what I am being paid...her child enforcement person sitting right next to her was trying to object...and the judge said...I see no problem here...case dismissed.

Government workers :(
 
2011-05-05 01:19:28 AM  
actually, I couldn't do it even if he begged me I don't think.
 
2011-05-05 01:20:30 AM  

TheWhoppah: A thirty aught six is a rifle.

He was suggesting killing the DA for revenge. Funny how these out-of-state farkwits get all holier than though about Texas justice shortfalls and then suggest assination as a solution.


Funny it ends up being a gun statute too. There really has to be a legal way to go after the original prosecutor, but I don't know what it is. I'm wondering if suborning perjury would work. As long as the statute of limitations hasn't expired, it's a halfway decent option. It carries potential jail time and would definitely involve sanctions, probably disbarment or at the very least suspension.
 
2011-05-05 01:24:07 AM  
Having just watched The Thin Blue Line last week it's nice to see Texas is still the same old hell on earth it was back then.
 
2011-05-05 01:28:54 AM  
No dice. Limitations is 3 years on most felonies. There are exceptions but the only way you get over 10 years is sexual assault of a child which is, if I remember correctly, 10 years from the 18th birthday ... or murder which has no limit.
 
2011-05-05 01:32:51 AM  

Fett56: Seriously, what is wrong with us? How did we become this farking broken?


i52.tinypic.com
 
2011-05-05 01:35:32 AM  

relcec: I'm not entirely sure the comptroller or law is at fault here. have you seen what the actual court documents say? the law requires "a certification of the claimant's actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced" that doesn't seem way out there to me.
but yes, how can you go after the guy who saved your life because he cost you mon ...


You couldn't anyway; as has been mentioned here, the defense appeals team is not responsible for making sure he's compensated. They take on the responsibility of giving him the best representation possible for the purposes of appealing his death penalty conviction, not for anything that comes after that.

I am blaming the comptroller, she's an idiot and it's not like she can go around claiming she did her job considering she missed the original response deadline and only came up with one after further investigation by his lawyers.

"Kelly Siegler, the special prosecutor who recommended dropping the charges against Graves, said that the words "actual innocence" are not commonly used in the courtroom. She said the compensation law likely was designed for cases involving innocence proven through DNA, not a case thrown out by prosecutors after a reexamination of the evidence.

"Who would have envisioned this kind of situation happening?" Siegler said.

"I'm willing to testify to the fact that we believe he's innocent," she said. "I've signed an affidavit. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do to make it happen."

In December, lawyers in the case discussed asking state District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett, who signed the order freeing Graves, to change the wording of the order. This never happened, however, for reasons that could not be determined Monday."

Also: "Casarez [his lawyer] said other attorneys had assured her that the comptroller's office could approve the compensation because of the public statement's prosecutors had made about his innocence." She sought outside counsel and got a professional consensus. No, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work, but she's hardly negligent in any way at all.

These are all people looking for reasons the comptroller would refuse compensation in a case that so clearly warrants it, and I want to know wtf the judge is thinking too.

Link (new window)
 
2011-05-05 01:35:45 AM  
the legislature should grant him the money.
 
2011-05-05 01:38:37 AM  

TheWhoppah: No dice. Limitations is 3 years on most felonies. There are exceptions but the only way you get over 10 years is sexual assault of a child which is, if I remember correctly, 10 years from the 18th birthday ... or murder which has no limit.


Yeah but it's possible the limit starts when the act is discovered rather than when it was committed. Unlikely, but possible.

The Bar isn't bound by that though, so disbarment is still an option.
 
2011-05-05 01:45:19 AM  
I live in texas so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

/Actually, it does suck here
//Way too much derp
 
2011-05-05 01:45:52 AM  
Ta da, an actual answer. And a truly disappointing one at that.

The new prosecutors said Sebesta, the original prosecutor, committed prosecutorial misconduct. "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."

"Sebesta retired 12 years ago. In 2009, he took out ads in two Burleson County newspapers reiterating that he believed Graves was a killer, to dispute critical news media reports."

"In 2007, Houston attorney Robert Bennett filed a bar complaint saying Sebesta and two assistant district attorneys acted unethically in the prosecution.

The State Bar dismissed the complaint, and officials said Sebesta has no disciplinary record."

If he's retired and the statute is up there's not much action to be taken against him, unless a civil claim is possible.

Link (new window)
 
2011-05-05 01:49:34 AM  

jadedlee: relcec: I'm not entirely sure the comptroller or law is at fault here. have you seen what the actual court documents say? the law requires "a certification of the claimant's actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced" that doesn't seem way out there to me.
but yes, how can you go after the guy who saved your life because he cost you mon ...

You couldn't anyway; as has been mentioned here, the defense appeals team is not responsible for making sure he's compensated. They take on the responsibility of giving him the best representation possible for the purposes of appealing his death penalty conviction, not for anything that comes after that.

I am blaming the comptroller, she's an idiot and it's not like she can go around claiming she did her job considering she missed the original response deadline and only came up with one after further investigation by his lawyers.

"Kelly Siegler, the special prosecutor who recommended dropping the charges against Graves, said that the words "actual innocence" are not commonly used in the courtroom. She said the compensation law likely was designed for cases involving innocence proven through DNA, not a case thrown out by prosecutors after a reexamination of the evidence.

"Who would have envisioned this kind of situation happening?" Siegler said.

"I'm willing to testify to the fact that we believe he's innocent," she said. "I've signed an affidavit. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do to make it happen."

In December, lawyers in the case discussed asking state District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett, who signed the order freeing Graves, to change the wording of the order. This never happened, however, for reasons that could not be determined Monday."

Also: "Casarez [his lawyer] said other attorneys had assured her that the comptroller's office could approve the compensation because of the public statement's prosecutors had made about his innocence." She sought outside counsel and got a professional consensus. No, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work, but she's hardly negligent in any way at all.

These are all people looking for reasons the comptroller would refuse compensation in a case that so clearly warrants it, and I want to know wtf the judge is thinking too.

Link (new window)


whoever was his attorney damn sure had a responsibility to try to get him compensated concurrently with getting him off for murder. don't give me this BS them not needing to spend 5 damn minutes educating themselves about the relevant restitution law as they file the damn exoneration documents. that's patently ridiculous, and any jury in the world would see it that way and take the malpractice insurance companies money for it unless the attorney had a contract that stipulated he specifically was not dealing with those aspects and was disclaiming all responsibility and even still maybe they would.
 
2011-05-05 01:51:11 AM  
FTA - This newspaper has credited Abbott for modernizing the state's child support collection efforts. That modernization should include the application of basic common sense in a case such as this.

Haha, as if any one or anything in Texas is capable of "common sense." Now I know that there are probably a lot of Texas residents who would cry foul at my assertion... "hey, I live in [Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston], so I'm not like those ignorant country-bumpkins (yes, Ft. Worth counts as bumpkin) who give our state a bad name!"

I got news for ya Big-City-Dweller Texan, just based on the fact that you choose to live in that backwards-ass retarded theocratic state proves that you have no more common sense than the reddest of necks in the Lone Star State.

Say what you want about my home of Oklahoma, but at least we don't allow a bunch of religious nuts to control our public school system, and we don't repeatedly vote complete douchebags with Rod Blagojevich Hair (and ethics) into office as governor.
 
2011-05-05 01:55:38 AM  

relcec: jadedlee: relcec: I'm not entirely sure the comptroller or law is at fault here. have you seen what the actual court documents say? the law requires "a certification of the claimant's actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced" that doesn't seem way out there to me.
but yes, how can you go after the guy who saved your life because he cost you mon ...

You couldn't anyway; as has been mentioned here, the defense appeals team is not responsible for making sure he's compensated. They take on the responsibility of giving him the best representation possible for the purposes of appealing his death penalty conviction, not for anything that comes after that.

I am blaming the comptroller, she's an idiot and it's not like she can go around claiming she did her job considering she missed the original response deadline and only came up with one after further investigation by his lawyers.

"Kelly Siegler, the special prosecutor who recommended dropping the charges against Graves, said that the words "actual innocence" are not commonly used in the courtroom. She said the compensation law likely was designed for cases involving innocence proven through DNA, not a case thrown out by prosecutors after a reexamination of the evidence.

"Who would have envisioned this kind of situation happening?" Siegler said.

"I'm willing to testify to the fact that we believe he's innocent," she said. "I've signed an affidavit. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do to make it happen."

In December, lawyers in the case discussed asking state District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett, who signed the order freeing Graves, to change the wording of the order. This never happened, however, for reasons that could not be determined Monday."

Also: "Casarez [his lawyer] said other attorneys had assured her that the comptroller's office could approve the compensation because of the public statement's prosecutors had made about his innocence." She sought outside counsel and got a professional consensus. No, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work, but she's hardly negligent in any way at all.

These are all people looking for reasons the comptroller would refuse compensation in a case that so clearly warrants it, and I want to know wtf the judge is thinking too.

Link (new window)

whoever was his attorney damn sure had a responsibility to try to get him compensated concurrently with getting him off for murder. don't give me this BS them not needing to spend 5 damn minutes educating themselves about the relevant restitution law as they file the damn exoneration documents. that's patently ridiculous, and any jury in the world would see it that way and take the malpractice insurance companies money for it unless the attorney had a contract that stipulated he specifically was not dealing with those aspects and was disclaiming all responsibility and even still maybe they would.


Just so you know, it's the judge's order that was worded wrong. Judges don't usually let lawyers write stuff for them (although they'll let clerks do it). From where I sit, she didn't even miss this one - she requested compensation immediately and when it was denied for patently stupid reasons she requested that the judge rewrite the ruling that was problematic, plus she got the prosecutor and the media involved. What else did you want her to do, exactly? She wasn't even negligent.
 
2011-05-05 01:58:53 AM  
I had legal mal lawyer that was an Adjunct professor. it was in California but I'll email him if I can find him.
 
2011-05-05 02:03:16 AM  

TheOther: 1. Get out of prison.

2. Get out of Texas.

3. Get the f*ck out of Texas.

4. GET THE F*CK OUT OF TEXAS!!!

If he stays, he'll end up back in jail over some bullshiat and probably 'hang himself in his cell in despair'.


That's assuming he doesn't fall down an empty elevator shaft on top of some bullets.
 
2011-05-05 02:07:21 AM  

jadedlee: relcec: jadedlee: relcec: I'm not entirely sure the comptroller or law is at fault here. have you seen what the actual court documents say? the law requires "a certification of the claimant's actual innocence of the crime for which the claimant was sentenced" that doesn't seem way out there to me.
but yes, how can you go after the guy who saved your life because he cost you mon ...

You couldn't anyway; as has been mentioned here, the defense appeals team is not responsible for making sure he's compensated. They take on the responsibility of giving him the best representation possible for the purposes of appealing his death penalty conviction, not for anything that comes after that.

I am blaming the comptroller, she's an idiot and it's not like she can go around claiming she did her job considering she missed the original response deadline and only came up with one after further investigation by his lawyers.

"Kelly Siegler, the special prosecutor who recommended dropping the charges against Graves, said that the words "actual innocence" are not commonly used in the courtroom. She said the compensation law likely was designed for cases involving innocence proven through DNA, not a case thrown out by prosecutors after a reexamination of the evidence.

"Who would have envisioned this kind of situation happening?" Siegler said.

"I'm willing to testify to the fact that we believe he's innocent," she said. "I've signed an affidavit. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do to make it happen."

In December, lawyers in the case discussed asking state District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett, who signed the order freeing Graves, to change the wording of the order. This never happened, however, for reasons that could not be determined Monday."

Also: "Casarez [his lawyer] said other attorneys had assured her that the comptroller's office could approve the compensation because of the public statement's prosecutors had made about his innocence." She sought outside counsel and got a professional consensus. No, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work, but she's hardly negligent in any way at all.

These are all people looking for reasons the comptroller would refuse compensation in a case that so clearly warrants it, and I want to know wtf the judge is thinking too.

Link (new window)

whoever was his attorney damn sure had a responsibility to try to get him compensated concurrently with getting him off for murder. don't give me this BS them not needing to spend 5 damn minutes educating themselves about the relevant restitution law as they file the damn exoneration documents. that's patently ridiculous, and any jury in the world would see it that way and take the malpractice insurance companies money for it unless the attorney had a contract that stipulated he specifically was not dealing with those aspects and was disclaiming all responsibility and even still maybe they would.

Just so you know, it's the judge's order that was worded wrong. Judges don't usually let lawyers write stuff for them (although they'll let clerks do it). From where I sit, she didn't even miss this one - she requested compensation immediately and when it was denied for patently stupid reasons she requested that the judge rewrite the ruling that was problematic, plus she got the prosecutor and the media involved. What else did you want her to do, exactly? She wasn't even negligent.


why did you wait until now to say that?
 
2011-05-05 02:09:08 AM  
the lawyer requested the Actual Innocence or some such and the judge was having none of it? well then it wasn't the lawyers fault. if the lawyer didn't know or care what the wording was that's a problem.
 
2011-05-05 02:09:14 AM  

relcec: I had legal mal lawyer that was an Adjunct professor. it was in California but I'll email him if I can find him.


California law is the most distinct from any other state in the country, let's hope he's up on his Texas.

I really don't think it's malpractice because the judge wrote the order a specific way that ended up sucking.

Regardless, I think we're agreed the guy isn't going in that direction. It would still be nice to know, but if I had to vote on a likely candidate for malpractice I'd go for the original PD. There has to be some insufficient counsel there at minimum. But that's likely true of every presumably green underpaid overworked PD.
 
2011-05-05 02:13:48 AM  

lisarenee3505: FTA - This newspaper has credited Abbott for modernizing the state's child support collection efforts. That modernization should include the application of basic common sense in a case such as this.

Haha, as if any one or anything in Texas is capable of "common sense." Now I know that there are probably a lot of Texas residents who would cry foul at my assertion... "hey, I live in [Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston], so I'm not like those ignorant country-bumpkins (yes, Ft. Worth counts as bumpkin) who give our state a bad name!"

I got news for ya Big-City-Dweller Texan, just based on the fact that you choose to live in that backwards-ass retarded theocratic state proves that you have no more common sense than the reddest of necks in the Lone Star State.

Say what you want about my home of Oklahoma, but at least we don't allow a bunch of religious nuts to control our public school system, and we don't repeatedly vote complete douchebags with Rod Blagojevich Hair (and ethics) into office as governor.


Right. You don't have a state rep that just apologized for say blacks are lazy. Please. Oklahoma sucks.
 
2011-05-05 02:15:07 AM  

relcec: the lawyer requested the Actual Innocence or some such and the judge was having none of it? well then it wasn't the lawyers fault. if the lawyer didn't know or care what the wording was that's a problem.


Didn't read that story until just now. I would have mentioned it earlier but the internet was withholding exculpatory evidence, or something. I don't know that she requested specific wording, when you have the prosecutor requesting that charges be dropped there may have been a universal (except the judge) understanding of the circumstances and intent. Geez, the prosecutor has been going nuts about this too, it seems like it wasn't an oversight.

Upthread somewhere there was a claim that a relative of someone involved in the original trial was involved in writing the order and may have omitted the phrase intentionally to avoid culpability. No idea if it's true, but it's 2:15AM and I'm still watching extra innings so I guess I'll end up looking.
 
2011-05-05 02:15:26 AM  

Genta: "because the court did not use the words "actual innocence" in its release order, Comptroller Susan Combs said the state should not pay"


innocent until proven guilty?

so if he's let out because it cant be proven that he was guilty... then he's actually innocent. theres no half innocent in american law as far as i know.


this this and more this
time to start killing people in texas again.

/cant we just use the floriduh tag when we post texas stories??
 
2011-05-05 02:17:58 AM  

jadedlee: relcec: I had legal mal lawyer that was an Adjunct professor. it was in California but I'll email him if I can find him.

California law is the most distinct from any other state in the country, let's hope he's up on his Texas.

I really don't think it's malpractice because the judge wrote the order a specific way that ended up sucking.

Regardless, I think we're agreed the guy isn't going in that direction. It would still be nice to know, but if I had to vote on a likely candidate for malpractice I'd go for the original PD. There has to be some insufficient counsel there at minimum. But that's likely true of every presumably green underpaid overworked PD.


ok.
 
2011-05-05 02:21:27 AM  
california is not that different from texas btw, though I honestly have no idea about mal practice in either jurisdiction. California has maybe the hardest bar exam, and I've heard Louisiana might be the most different, but I have experience with LA.
 
2011-05-05 02:29:40 AM  

ArkAngel: Holy shiat. In one thread we're gonna have arguments on the death penalty, prosecutorial misconduct, faceless government, Texas, Rick Perry, and child support systems. And I'm sure someone will throw in a hot chick threadjack at some point.

This will be one to watch.


Texas is the reason why I no longer support the death penalty. That may change in the future. Since that is dependent upon Texas making justice a priority, it might be a while, though.

And why the hell do government officials not get thrown in jail when they knowingly subvert justice to imprison an innocent man? Immunity is fine when we're just talking about reasonable mistakes. It happens. But when a prosecutor goes out of his way to destroy someone's life for jollies, the bastard belongs in jail. The sentence should be no less than the combined time spent in prison of all innocents he purposely screwed over. And if someone was executed, then it should be treated the same as first degree murder.
 
2011-05-05 02:31:17 AM  

TheWhoppah: Silent But Deadly: TheWhoppah: mongbiohazard: Why isn't former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta in jail now for what he did?

The statute of limitations would prevent his conviction even if you could get past prosecutorial immunity.

So it's OK to falsely imprison someone with false evidence, and hide away (using state resources to do so) and evade justice, but it is OK to put an innocent person away for 18 years? You are really full of derp. People like you really scare me. yeeesh.


I didn't write the farking statute of limitations. I'm telling you what the law is. If you don't like it write your farking congressman, don't say I'm "full of derp" just for explaining facts that you don't like. dumbass.


I'm not the one espousing the virtues of the current laws, you are. You have been called on the carpet about 1000 times in this thread, I think the duty belongs to you for supporting the "weird side". dumbass right back at you... You are still full of derp.
 
2011-05-05 02:37:31 AM  
Before you criticize Texas, does your state even allow for any compensation for the wrongly imprisoned?

"So how do exonerees get compensated? The sad news is most probably don't. According to the Innocence Project's Web site, 22 states currently have statutes under which innocent convicts are ensured some restitution: Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia. In other words, less than half the states offer any form of guaranteed redress for the wrongly convicted."

"Many jurisdictions limit compensation, or make it practically unattainable, or both. For example, Wisconsin limits compensation to a measly $5,000 per year and a total of $25,000; New Hampshire caps compensation at $20,000; Montana offers only educational aid."
 
2011-05-05 02:41:36 AM  

relcec: california is not that different from texas btw, though I honestly have no idea about mal practice in either jurisdiction. California has maybe the hardest bar exam, and I've heard Louisiana might be the most different, but I have experience with LA.


California also has the baseball team that's about to keep my guys under 500. More accurately, it's our stupid pitcher who's going to manage that.

Also, the more I read about this the more confused I get. It's worse than the OBL coverage - every source has a different take on who was supposed to use the magic words and why they weren't used and why it's been months with lots of people publicly declaring support while nothing happens. Now I'm getting some that are saying the current regular prosecutor (not the special prosecutor hired for this case) is responsible, not the judge. Meanwhile, students at Prairie View A&M are trying to raise they money for him themselves. The fact that it's gotten to the point of college bake sales makes me want to cry.
 
2011-05-05 02:52:25 AM  

Alien Robot: Before you criticize Texas, does your state even allow for any compensation for the wrongly imprisoned?

"So how do exonerees get compensated? The sad news is most probably don't. According to the Innocence Project's Web site, 22 states currently have statutes under which innocent convicts are ensured some restitution: Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia. In other words, less than half the states offer any form of guaranteed redress for the wrongly convicted."

"Many jurisdictions limit compensation, or make it practically unattainable, or both. For example, Wisconsin limits compensation to a measly $5,000 per year and a total of $25,000; New Hampshire caps compensation at $20,000; Montana offers only educational aid."


Yeah, the problem is Texas executes more people and has a higher rate of overturned convictions than any other state. Somewhere along the line the justice system there got way out of whack and compensation is a good way to right some individual wrongs and provide pressure to stop screwing up in the form of angry Texan taxpayers. I'd still rather have a state with a better track record of getting it right the first time than I would live in a state where they give people money for messing up. Also compensation is great in theory but if it's unattainable in this case after everything involved then it's more for show than for justice, and that might be even more cruel.
 
2011-05-05 02:54:55 AM  

Tainted1: TheOther: 1. Get out of prison.

2. Get out of Texas.

3. Get the f*ck out of Texas.

4. GET THE F*CK OUT OF TEXAS!!!

If he stays, he'll end up back in jail over some bullshiat and probably 'hang himself in his cell in despair'.

That's assuming he doesn't fall down an empty elevator shaft on top of some bullets.


Suicide?
 
2011-05-05 03:07:29 AM  
-

jadedlee: Alien Robot: Before you criticize Texas, does your state even allow for any compensation for the wrongly imprisoned?

"So how do exonerees get compensated? The sad news is most probably don't. According to the Innocence Project's Web site, 22 states currently have statutes under which innocent convicts are ensured some restitution: Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia. In other words, less than half the states offer any form of guaranteed redress for the wrongly convicted."

"Many jurisdictions limit compensation, or make it practically unattainable, or both. For example, Wisconsin limits compensation to a measly $5,000 per year and a total of $25,000; New Hampshire caps compensation at $20,000; Montana offers only educational aid."

Yeah, the problem is Texas executes more people and has a higher rate of overturned convictions than any other state. Somewhere along the line the justice system there got way out of whack and compensation is a good way to right some individual wrongs and provide pressure to stop screwing up in the form of angry Texan taxpayers. I'd still rather have a state with a better track record of getting it right the first time than I would live in a state where they give people money for messing up. Also compensation is great in theory but if it's unattainable in this case after everything involved then it's more for show than for justice, and that might be even more cruel.


overturned by who? I probably don't have to tell going by overturned convictions alone is not a proper metric for measuring the effectiveness of justice system at all. I doubt nazi germany had very many convictions overturned.
 
2011-05-05 03:10:39 AM  

bartink: lisarenee3505: FTA - This newspaper has credited Abbott for modernizing the state's child support collection efforts. That modernization should include the application of basic common sense in a case such as this.

Haha, as if any one or anything in Texas is capable of "common sense." Now I know that there are probably a lot of Texas residents who would cry foul at my assertion... "hey, I live in [Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston], so I'm not like those ignorant country-bumpkins (yes, Ft. Worth counts as bumpkin) who give our state a bad name!"

I got news for ya Big-City-Dweller Texan, just based on the fact that you choose to live in that backwards-ass retarded theocratic state proves that you have no more common sense than the reddest of necks in the Lone Star State.

Say what you want about my home of Oklahoma, but at least we don't allow a bunch of religious nuts to control our public school system, and we don't repeatedly vote complete douchebags with Rod Blagojevich Hair (and ethics) into office as governor.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Right. You don't have a state rep that just apologized for say blacks are lazy. Please. Oklahoma sucks.

------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, you got me there. Sally Kern is a complete idiot and, in all seriousness, someone needs to beat that biatch to death with an axe handle before she can further embarrass the great state of Oklahoma. But she is ONE stupid biatch who doesn't really affect the whole state, whereas the Texas State School Board has power over the entire youth of Texas, and has set about to pound a course of ignorant theocratic rhetoric intro the heads of every single school-child in the state.

Yes, Oklahoma has its share of idiotic politicians (Kern, Inhofe, Coburn), but Texas gave us George W. Bush and a decade of war based on outright lies. I'm sorry, but nothing trumps that. You can talk shiat about Oklahoma as much as you want, but it will never change the absolute, universal FACT that Texas is the worst, most nationally-damaging state in the Union. Personally, I sincerely wish that they would secede from the USA, just so the rest of us would be free of their blight.

/born and raised in TX
//got out as soon as I could
 
2011-05-05 03:14:17 AM  
If Rick Perry is actually on board, isn't the fastest way to solve this problem to get a gubernatorial pardon on the grounds of innocence? Seems like it would satisfy the statute:

"(2) a verified copy of the pardon or court order justifying the application for compensation;"

And $80,000 per year is indeed pretty good for post-exoneration payments. Illinois pays $20,000 per year I think (we have a LOT of wrongfully convicted people), but the rule of thumb in successful civil lawsuits after you get out is closer to $1M per year.
 
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