As the Trump administration moves to resume execution of federal inmates on death row, there is one Houstonian more entitled to object than any other.
In 1992, Anthony Graves was falsely accused of murdering a family of six in Sommerville. Before his complete exoneration, he endured 18 and a half years on the Texas death row.
"The 6,640 days they did this to me, I was innocent every day, every day, every day and I watched men around me just lose their minds, cut their throats, hanging themselves, overdosing on their medications because they couldn't take the conditions we were existing under," said Graves.
As a full-time advocate for the innocent, Graves sees the federal government's return to capitol punishment as an immoral reversal of course that's brutal, unnecessary and certain to extinguish innocent lives.
"Whether you give death by incarceration or death by lethal injection, you are coming home in a pine box. We could save a lot of money if we understood death by incarceration serves the same purpose, but also keeps us from wrongfully executing someone," said Graves.
A potent and resonate voice for the falsely accused, Graves calls President Trump's return of the death penalty purely political and divisive by design.
His appeal is directed to fellow Americans of conscience, those, he believes, are committed to genuine justice.
"Does it really make you comfortable at night knowing 166 men that you supported being executed were found out to be innocent? Are you okay with that because we are going back in time to make America great? Now we are executing federal prisoners again to make America great, are you guys okay with that? Because we are going backward, not forward," said Graves.
There are currently 62 federal inmates on death row. The last execution was in 2001 and the next now scheduled for December.