The State Bar of Texas has decided it will try former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta before an administrative judge to determine whether Sebesta will receive punitive action for his role in wrongfully sentencing exoneree Anthony Graves to death in 1994. This comes after the Bar found sufficient evidence of alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the case.
Graves spent 18 years incarcerated in a Texas prison—12 of them on death row—before his wrongful mass murder conviction was overturned by the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals in 2006, concluding that Sebesta intentionally withheld favorable evidence and used false testimony in the case.
According to Texas Senate Bill 825, which was approved by lawmakers in 2013, a wrongfully imprisoned individual whose case involved alleged prosecutorial misconduct is allowed to file a grievance up to four years after his release. Thus, State Bar officials ultimately approved Graves’ complaint that was filed earlier this year against Sebesta’s alleged prosecutorial misconduct in his case.
Sebesta’s hearing will remain private until the Texas State Bar decides whether to sanction him.
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