April 20, 2015 Meeting to Feature
Exonerated death row inmate Anthony Graves and Attorney Nicole Casarez
Our Monday May 18th meeting will feature a most distinguished speaker: Anthony Graves. His story has been covered all over the world: Graves was put on death row for murder, despite the fact that he was innocent. He was, after 18 and a half years released and declared innocent. Grave’s will recount his extraordinary story, along with his call to abolish the death penalty and urgent need for judicial system reform.
In addition, we will hear from attorney Nicole Casarez, who was central in revealing the real truth to the courts: that Graves was a innocent man.
In addition, this meeting will have club elections. As previously announced, President Art Pronin, Vice President CJ Yeoman, Treasurer Omar Lopez, Parliamentarian Jill Moffitt and Secretary Silvia Gederberg are all seeking re-election.
Anthony Graves is known by many as death row exoneree 138. But he is known by those close to him as a loving son, brother, father and friend taken away from them at a young age. Anthony lost 18 and a half years of his life when he was wrongly convicted of a brutal crime and incarcerated in Texas prisons, 16 of those years in solitary confinement, 12 on death row, with 2 execution dates. Ultimately, perseverance, faith and the tireless work of The Innocence Network and others on Anthony’s team, put enough pressure on the system from the outside, and from the inside, where Anthony remained strong. Anthony was proven innocent.
Anthony is an accomplished motivational speaker; community advocate; consultant and investigator in both the legal and criminal justice systems; a presenter at Continuing Legal Education workshops on ethics; a prominent activist with the ACLU; and serves on the Advisory Board of The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - TCADP Penalty. He has launched the Anthony Graves Foundation to inspire at-risk youth whose parents have been incarcerated and to provide fair pre-trial investigation in capital cases. Anthony has presented at prestigious schools.
Anthony’s story has been featured on two cover stories of Texas Monthly and in the CBS 48 Hour Mystery special “Grave Injustice” - which won the prestigious Emmy Award, and he has been featured on Katie Couric. Anthony established a scholarship at the University of Texas Law School in the name of his champion Professor Nicole Casarez. On Martin Luther King Day 2014, Anthony filed a grievance with the State of Texas against District Attorney Charles Sebesta, who wrongfully convicted him. The State of Texas Chief Disciplinary Council has accepted the grievance as a formal complaint, the case will be coming up for review soon.
Nicole Casarez is an attorney and a communication professor at the University of St. Thomas, where she teaches media law, journalism and public relations. She has also taught constitutional law, privacy law and First Amendment law at the University of Houston Law Center, where she is currently a visiting professor of law. She has a bachelor of journalism as well as a law degree from the University of Texas, and a master’s in communication/public relations management from the University of Houston.
Before joining the UST faculty, Cásarez practiced law at Vinson & Elkins. Cásarez serves as the vice chair of the Houston Forensic Science Center, which governs the City of Houston’s independent crime lab. She writes and speaks frequently about First Amendment, privacy and criminal justice issues, and in 2009, she was elected to the American Law Institute.
As is customary, the meeting will be held at Fadi's Mediterranean Grill - 4738 Beechnut just West of Loop 610 West, HoSuston, S77096. The dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will start PROMPTLY at 7:00 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but attendees pay for their own food and drinks.
Meyerland Area Democrats
The Meyerland Area's Voice for
Want to join? We've got over 100 members who have paid their annual membership. Membership fees are only $20/person or $35/household. We welcome new members!