Prosecutors with the Texas Attorney General's office
have found a way to successfully keep former death row inmate Anthony Graves
in jail a little longer, by appealing a federal district judge's order releasing Graves on bail to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
. The appellate court may take up to 30 days to rule, reports the Houston Chronicle
, giving the AG's office time to appeal to state District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett
to keep Graves in jail on what would likely amount to a prohibitively high bond. Graves' conviction and death sentence were overturned by the 5th Circuit
earlier this year, after the court found that prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence from Graves' defenders including a statement from Robert Carter
, who originally said Graves aided him in committing the 1992 multiple murder, but who later, shortly before he was executed in 2000, said in a sworn statement that he acted alone.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent ordered Graves' release, which was scheduled for Nov. 17, despite the AG's argument that he should be kept in jail in Burleson, pending his retrial. Kent's order was an "astonishingly unusual" move, University of Houston Law Center attorney David Dow, one of Graves' pro bono defenders told the daily. "What it reflects is the federal judge's sense that the state tribunal is acting as if Graves is guilty" and not, as the law would have it, that Graves is innocent until proven otherwise.