The Austin Chronicle's Jordan Smith has, "Anthony Graves Update: Defense team shot down again."
When it comes to the retrial of death row inmate Anthony Graves, Burleson Co. District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett apparently doesn't feel the need to comply with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or, for that matter, with the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps Justice Antonin Scalia simply isn't conservative enough for the Texas judge. Or maybe Towslee-Corbett is – dare we say it? – completely biased against Graves. Considering the latest ruling she's made in Graves' case, it would seem that one or the other – if not both – must be true.
On July 12, Towslee-Corbett denied a motion by Graves' defense team, ruling that special prosecutor Patrick Batchelor may use the recanted – and likely perjured – testimony of Robert Carter, who fingered Graves as his accomplice in the 1992 multiple murder of Bobbie Joyce Davis, her daughter, and four grandchildren in Somerville. Carter, who was convicted of the crime, later recanted, saying Graves was not involved in the grisly murders – a recantation he repeatedly reiterated, including in his final statement before being executed in 2000.
"Anthony Graves had nothing to do with it," said Carter from the Texas death chamber. "I lied on him in court."
And although the veracity of Carter's trial testimony, implicating Graves in the crime, was at the heart of the 5th Circuit's decision to overturn Graves' conviction and death sentence last year, Towslee-Corbett last week ruled – without any explanation – that she will allow the state to use a transcript of the dead man's questionable testimony as evidence in Graves' upcoming retrial. (Although originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, Graves' new trial has been postponed until sometime this fall.)
Earlier coverage is here.