Sunday, 7 January 2007

Judge: Graves' Bail Is 'Excessive, Oppressive - The case of Anthony Graves - Texas

Judge: Graves' Bail Is 'Excessive, Oppressive

That's the headline in today's Houston Chronicle on the continuing saga of Anthony Graves. He is awaiting a new trial after an earlier conviction and death sentence were overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct in the original trial. Graves has always maintained his innocence and his lawyers have been trying to free him on bail pending the new trial. The Chronicle report is here.

Calling a $1 million state bail "excessive and oppressive," a federal judge Friday nevertheless said he was powerless to interfere with the way a state court handles the retrial of former death row inmate Anthony Graves.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner's decision not to interfere means that Graves will be returned to the Burleson County Jail in Caldwell to await his retrial on capital murder charges.

"I can agree with you that it sounds pretty excessive and pretty oppressive, but that's the business of the state court," Froeschner said.


[State District Judge] Towslee-Corbett on Thursday appointed Assistant Attorney General Julie Ann Stone as interim special prosecutor to retry Graves, whose capital murder conviction was overturned last year after a federal appeals court found that prosecutors withheld evidence and elicited false testimony.

The Texas Innocence Network says Graves is innocent of charges that he participated in the slayings of a grandmother and five children in 1992.

The case had no prosecutor for more than two weeks after the request by Renee Mueller, district attorney for Burleson and Washington counties, to recuse her office.

Mueller recused her office after Towslee-Corbett ruled that Assistant District Attorney Joan Scroggins, part of the team that prosecuted Graves in 1994, could not participate in the prosecution.

Earlier coverage is here. Some observers have questioned whether Graves will be retried.

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