A former district attorney has been formally disbarred after a panel of the State Bar of Texas determined he used false testimony and withheld evidence to win a capital murder conviction against exonerated death row inmate, Anthony Graves.
Graves was exonerated and released from prison four years ago after serving eighteen years in prison for the 1992 murder of six Burleson County residents. While in prison, Graves was placed in solitary confinement for sixteen years, and on two occasions, he was scheduled to be executed.
Now, a stain on the criminal justice system and the State of Texas has been effectively removed. The bar found that Charles Sebesta had violated five tenets of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, including:
- 3.03(a)(l ): “A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal.”
- 3.03(a)(5): “A lawyer shall not knowingly offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false.”
- 3.09(d): “A prosecutor in a criminal case shall make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense…”
- 8.04(a)(l): “A lawyer shall not violate these rules, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another…”
- 8.04(a)(3): “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Do you consider disbarment to be sufficient punishment for attempted murder? After all, Anthony Graves was almost murdered, twice.