Prosecutor Disbarred for Withholding Testimony in Death Penalty Case

Prosecutor Disbarred for Withholding Testimony in Death Penalty Case June 15, 2015

It’s incredibly rare for a prosecutor to be held responsible in any way for withholding of falsifying evidence in a criminal case, even one that sends someone to death row. To be disbarred for it is virtually unheard of, but that is what happened to a former DA in Texas:

A former Texas prosecutor lost his law license Friday after the State Bar of Texas determined he withheld evidence and falsified testimony to win a capital murder conviction against now-exonerated death row inmate Anthony Graves.

A three-person panel determined Charles Sebesta committed “professional misconduct” when he prosecuted Graves in 1994 for the slaying of six people, four of them children. While the conviction was overturned in 2006, Graves wasn’t released until 2010, after spending 18 years in prison, 12 of those on death row…

In the six-page ruling, the State Bar’s disciplinary panel said Sebesta failed to provide evidence that may have cleared Graves of wrongdoing, including withholding a co-defendant’s testimony that he acted alone in the murders.

More of this, please. A lot more. Falsifying or withholding evidence in a criminal trial should result in an automatic disbarment. It absolutely eliminates any chance of justice and destroys innocent lives. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if a prosecutor is proven to have done so, they should have to serve the sentence of the person they wrongfully convicted.

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