Board of Disciplinary Appeals to Hear Appeal of Sebesta Disbarment

The Board of Disciplinary Appeals is scheduled to hear Charles J. Sebesta, Jr. v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline of the State Bar of Texas on Friday, January 29, in the Texas Supreme Court Chamber. The Board begins hearing cases at 9:00 am.

In June, the State Bar disbarred Sebesta, the former Burleson County District Attorney, due to prosecutorial misconduct in the prosecution of Anthony Graves. Sebesta has appealed that decision to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals. BODA is a statewide independent adjudicatory body of 12 attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to hear certain attorney discipline cases.

Attorneys representing Anthony Graves, who have filed an Amicus Brief in the BODA matter, and Mr. Graves will be at the hearing. Attorney Charles Eskridge and Anthony Graves will be available to speak to journalists in the lobby of the Tom C. Clark Building, immediately outside of the Texas Supreme Court Chamber, following the hearing.

The Amicus Brief is available in Adobe .pdf format.

Mr. Graves was convicted of multiple murders in 1994 in a trial that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit eventually determined was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct, deliberate hiding of evidence, suborning of false testimony from key witnesses, and other wrongdoing by the prosecutor, Mr. Sebesta. These violations of Mr. Graves’ fundamental constitutional rights resulted in him spending 18 and one-half years incarcerated, including 12 and one-half years on Death Row, during which he faced two execution dates.

Mr. Graves’ complete innocence was ultimately recognized by a special prosecutor who re-examined the case in 2010. His innocence was officially confirmed by the State of Texas itself, which deemed Mr. Graves to be “actually innocent” and paid compensation for his wrongful imprisonment.

There is more on the case at the Texas BODA website.

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