Three years after Anthony Graves was cleared of any involvement in six murders that occurred in Somerville, Texas, he established a law school scholarship in the name of the attorney that helped to free him from prison.
Graves spent 18 years behind bars, 12 of which were on death row, before evidence of his innocence lead to his release on October 28, 2010. For eight of those years, Houston attorney and University of St. Thomas journalism professor Nicole Cásarez worked tirelessly reviewing Graves’ case and ultimately secured his freedom.
reported that in the two years since Graves received $1.45 million from the Texas Legislature for his wrongful incarceration, he rebuilt his mother’s house andbought her a car. He also purchased for himself a convertible and established a foundation to help at-risk children whose parents are incarcerated. His good will continued on Sunday when he presented Cásarez with a framed certificate of the University of Texas Law School scholarship created in her honor.
reporter Pamela Colloff that he wanted to repay Cásarez but knew she would never accept money from him. “ ‘I thought about giving her an amazing trip somewhere, but I wanted to give her something that would live on.’ ” Cásarez’ commitment to innocence will live on through Graves’ gift.
The certificate reads:
The University of Texas Law School Foundation Gratefully Acknowledges the
NICOLE B. CÁSAREZ ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN LAW
Established in 2013 with a gift from Anthony Graves to honor his defender, friend, sister, and angel, to recognize her and her students’ work to exonerate him from a wrongful conviction, and to encourage others to follow her example of hope, perseverance, courage, and humility.
“Never underestimate the power of dedicated people working for good.”