Originally Written in 1994
HOLLYWOOD, MURDER AND TEXAS
DEATH ROW INMATE GARY GRAHAM AND
THE ANTI-DEATH PENALTY MOVEMENT:
A CASE STUDY OF LIES, HALF-TRUTHS
"I've killed six people already; if you want to be number seven, do something
HOW THE GARY GRAHAM
CASE BECAME A
1) JUSTICE FOR ALL believes this
has been the most extensive and expensive campaign ever conducted by anti-death
penalty forces for any one case. Amnesty International has sponsored rallies
for Graham in many cities around the world. It is our understanding that
Amnesty International (USA) solicited extra funds, from their membership,
for their operating budget, because of a deficit created by their work
on the Graham case. We have not been able to confirm this.
2) Religious, academic and political
leaders from around the world have come to Graham's aid.
3) Many media sources have eagerly
fallen for this fraudulent campaign (e.g. The New Yorker, New York Times,
Washington Post, Nightline, LEAR's, Village Voice, etc.), some in spite
of knowledge to the contrary.
4) Presented by Texas Sen. Royce
West, Danny Glover stated his belief in Graham's innocence in an appeal
to a session of the 1993 Texas Legislature. For his tireless efforts against
the death penalty, in general, and on behalf of Graham, in particular,
Glover was awarded "Man of the Year" by the National Coalition
to Abolish the Death Penalty. Additional Hollywood stars have made public
appeals on Graham's behalf: Ed Asner on "Good Morning America",
Mike Farrell on "The Maury Povich Show", etc. Had they been lied
to or did they just not care about the truth?
5) Graham advocate Susan Dillow
has made appeals on Graham's behalf throughout the world, including a presentation
to the British Parliament. As a direct result of that presentation, Member
of Parliament Gerald Kaufman authored two letters on Graham's behalf and
sent them to Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Those letters were co-signed by 38
additional members of Parliament.
6) Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) presented
an appeal on Graham's behalf to a session of the U.S. House of Representatives
7) Organizations such as Amnesty
Intl. and individuals such as Danny Glover have earned the right to be
highly respected in the civil and human rights struggles. Their dedication
and contributions are recognized and admired by JFA. In viewing Graham
Coalition material, it is highly probable that Glover, and maybe others,
were originally lied to about this case. By the time they became aware
of the lies of Graham and others, the case had become a worldwide cause
celebre', thus making it difficult to back away from: The cost to the anti-death
penalty movement would just be too great. There cannot be any excuse for
those Graham supporters who continued their support after this fraud was
exposed. Ignorance and aversion to the truth was strictly voluntary.
8) Former Texas Governor Ann
Richards stated that she granted the stay of Graham's execution based on
questions about the case. She would not say what those questions were,
nor would she state if those questions were ever resolved. She further
stated that she did not want to publicly discuss this case, fearing that
she may improperly influence future decisions (Governor Richard's letters.)
We find it strange that Governor Richards had no problem commenting publicly
on another high profile Texas death penalty case, that of Vermont native
Robert Drew. JUSTICE FOR ALL and Graham's Coalitions agree on one thing:
Hollywood's involvement in Graham's case was crucial to Governor Richard's
9) JFA makes sure that all known
Graham supporters receive our information on this case. Conversely, those
supporting Graham will not give us any of their material. Why do you think
that is? Specifically, any complete investigation of this worldwide fraud
should include all published material produced by Graham supporters including
Amnesty Intl., NCADP, all GGC flyers, all ENDEAVOR Newspapers, all
Graham Legal Defense Fund Newspapers, all films about this case, a complete
NEXIS search for all articles about this case. Based upon our limited research,
the amount of false and misleading information produced by Graham supporters
and irresponsible journalists will be staggering.
10) The six wealthiest known
supporters (?) of Graham are collectively worth over $1,000,000,000. Why
are Graham's Coalitions constantly holding fund raisers in Houston (and
we presume elsewhere) when 1/10 of 1% interest on $1,000,000,000 is $83,000/month
or $1,000,000/year? We believe that many Graham supporters have withdrawn
their support because they have learned, from JFA, that they were lied
11) JUSTICE FOR ALL believes
that the anti-death penalty movement will have injured their credibility
for years, WHEN the media fully investigates the case and the way
it was orchestrated by that movement.
12) In the event that Graham's
campaign is either successful in overcoming the integrity of the judicial
process or he is ultimately executed, Graham's coalitions will likely continue
to use their false claims. The end will always justify the means.
NOW, THE CASE FACTS......
On May 13, 1981, at 9:35pm, Bobby
Grant Lambert was robbed and murdered in a Safeway parking lot in north
Houston, Texas. Four out of the original five witnesses described the murderer
as a young, thin black male, from medium height to tall. On May 27th, 17-year-old
Gary Graham, a 5'9", 145 lb. black male, was positively identified
as Mr. Lambert's murderer by Bernadine Skillern, the one eyewitness who
clearly saw the killer's face. Five months later, Graham was convicted
of the murder and sentenced to death. Graham had been previously arrested
on May 20th for a crime spree that included at least 22 criminal
episodes, which involved 20 armed robberies, 3 kidnappings, 1 rape, and
3 attempted murders; a crime spree which was later found to include the
murder of Mr. Lambert. There are 28 known victims of this crime spree,
resulting in 19 eyewitnesses who have positively identified Graham.
Twelve years later, the tireless
efforts of Susan Dillow, Graham's California pen pal, and actor Danny Glover
began to publicize what they originally believed to be the pending
execution of an innocent man. Their efforts resulted in a worldwide campaign
to free Gary Graham. There are, primarily, three reasons why this campaign
has been so successful:
(1) Those initial efforts stimulated
the interest of media, of additional well-meaning individuals and of anti-death
penalty forces. As some of Graham's supporters began to learn the true
facts of the case, their voices grew silent. Other, more high profile supporters,
who have tied their reputations to Graham will not disentangle themselves
from this dishonorable fraud. Are they afraid of looking even more foolish?
Some, like Kenny Rogers, are honorable enough to publicly withdraw their
support (2/5/94 TV Guide). Many others have quietly withdrawn.
(2) The coalition of anti-death penalty
individuals and organizations will use any means necessary to achieve their
goals, regardless of the guilt or fabrications involved. All of Graham's
support comes from those who are either ignorant of the case facts or from
those dishonorable enough to ignore the facts altogether. Orchestrated
through Amnesty International and public relations firms in New York (Riptide)
and Texas (Steven Hall), this campaign has invested millions of dollars,
worldwide, to promote Graham's false claims. JFA believes that this
has been the most extensive and expensive propaganda campaign ever conducted
by anti-death penalty forces, for any one case.
(3) With no evidence of investigative
journalism, some members of the worldwide media, notably Nightline,
the New Yorker (8\16\93), The New York Times (Injustice
in Texas, 6/3/93 and Dead Man Walking, 5/26/93), The Washington
Post (5/29/93, 8/1/93 and 8/18/93) and LEAR's (3/94), have contributed
to this fraud - with some intentionally disregarding known facts. (Reviews
upon request.) Fortunately, the thorough investigative work of Susan Warren
(Houston Chronicle, A Compelling Case for Murder, 7/4/93,
etc.) and Gregory Curtis (editor, Texas Monthly Magazine, Graham-standing,
10/93) has provided conclusive evidence that Graham's claims have no merit.
Curtis states, "In every case they (the witnesses supporting Graham)
are changing their stories, often fairly abruptly, from what they said
or testified to twelve years ago..... New witnesses have materialized out
of thin air..... My prediction is that as the case goes on, thrill seekers
like this will continue to appear." The Texas Attorney General's Office
agrees, calling the new evidence and revised witness statements "stone-cold
The pro-Graham movement is a cynical
fraud wherein lies, half-truths and intimidation have come together in
an attempt to free the guilty and punish the law abiding. This movement
has nothing whatsoever to do with the guilt or innocence of Gary Graham.
If not for the death penalty, few people outside the immediate scope of
the Graham murder case would have heard of Gary Graham. The pro-Graham
movement is mounting an assault by death penalty opponents to abolish the
death penalty in Texas and throughout the United States. But for most Texans,
it is more than that. It is an attack on our safety.
In Gary Graham they have picked the
wrong person and, clearly, the wrong case.
Note: JUSTICE FOR ALL, a criminal
justice reform organization, produced this report in order to challenge
a world wide fraud perpetrated by Gary Graham's Coalitions (GGC) and the
anti-death penalty movement. Should you require any supporting documentation,
we are at your service. JFA enthusiastically welcomes all challenges to
II. THE DIRECT APPROACH:
LIES AND GARY GRAHAM'S COALITIONS
INTEGRITY should be the building
blocks of all just causes, particularly one involving a death row inmate
whose supporters claim was wrongfully convicted. Unfortunately, Gary
Graham's Coalitions ("GGC") and their many participants (including,
Susan Dillow, Danny Glover, Amnesty International, The Texas Resource
Center, The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, etc.)
need to be much more careful in their statements of "fact". Each
of the following paragraphs begins with GGC statements, usually followed
by a bold False, indicating the falsehood of that statement,
then followed by the factual information, as per the record. Most of the
literature is taken directly from GGC material and/or Texas Resource
Center attorneys' statements, and is not taken out of context.
FALSE CLAIM 1
Bobby Lambert was shot in a dimly
lit parking lot.
False. Bernadine Skillern, the unwavering
eyewitness had no problem identifying Graham. Stated Skillern, "You
can see very clearly." Other witnesses and three policemen testified
that there was adequate lighting to make an identification. Wilma Amos
testified that the lighting "was good." (Trial Testimony.) Furthermore,
GGC often state that there were only two lights in the entire parking lot.
Half-Truth, Misleading. What GGC doesn't say is that there
were at least two light posts with a total of four lights and that all
four lights were close to the murder scene. Two of the lights were within
two parking spaces of the murder and thereby directly illuminated the murder
scene (crime scene photos). Furthermore, Ms. Skillern's car was facing
the murder scene from 26-37 feet away and her car's headlights further
illuminated the murder scene and Graham's face. Graham, then walked within
10 feet of Ms. Skillern. (Crime scene evidence and trial testimony.)
FALSE CLAIMS 2, 3, 4 &
Graham was convicted and sentenced
(2) to death by the questionable (3) identification of a
single witness who saw the suspect for a "split second" (4)
from a distance of approximately 35-44 feet. False 5. In
her second viewing of mug shots (Graham's picture wasn't part of the first
photo spread.) Ms. Skillern immediately picked out Graham, noting that
his features, with the exception of skin tone, were the same. The shade
of the skin in the photograph wouldn't allow her to make a positive identification
and she stated she would need to see a live "line-up". She made
an immediate, unequivocal, positive identification of Graham at the line
up(F3). (Police and Trial Testimony.) Ms. Skillern testified that she saw
the killer "full-face" three times, for 2 to 3 seconds, and had
observed him for 60 to 90 seconds(F4), at distances ranging from a car
length (10 feet) to 33 to 44 feet(F5). Graham was found guilty on the testimony
of Ms. Skillern, but was sentenced to death because of the testimony of
ten (10) additional Graham victims, other witnesses and the careful consideration
of 12 jurors who felt that Gary Graham was a vicious killer who posed a
continuing threat to society(F2). (Trial testimony and jurors statements.)
"For the people to say I'm tragically
mistaken is an insult because I saw that man (Graham) and nothing will
ever change that. He knows that I saw him (kill Bobby Grant Lambert) and
I know that I saw him, and the Lord knows. I am not responsible for Mr.
Graham's fate. He is." (Bernadine Skillern, Houston Post, August 15,
Obviously, the jury agreed. The multi-racial
jury voted 12-0, on the first ballot, for guilt in the guilt/innocence
stage. The vote was 12-0 for death, on the second ballot, in the punishment
phase. (10-2 on the first ballot.) All ballots were secret. (Juror Statements
and Trial Records.)
FALSE CLAIMS 6, 7, 8 &
Four other crime scene witnesses
did not identify Graham as the gunman and stated that the gunman was approximately
5'5" tall. False 6. Four out of the original five witnesses
described the killer as a young, thin black male, from medium height to
tall. Graham, a 17 year old black male, was 5'9", slim, 140-150 lb.
Skillern stated he was 5'9" to 6', slender, 145 to 150 lbs.
Dan Grady said he was tall and slim. Ron Hubbard said he
was 5'5" to 5'6". Leodis Wilkerson described the killer
as shorter than Lambert. Lambert was 5'9". According to GGC flyers,
the killer must have been 5'8". Wilma Amos told police he was
of medium height but that she couldn't remember how the killer looked.
Incredibly, twelve years later, in April 1993, after speaking to The
Texas Resource Center, Amos says it wasn't Graham and that the killer
was 5'5". In videotaped testimony, aired at a mock(ery) trial in August,
1993, orchestrated by The Texas Resource Center, Ms. Amos stated
that, "He (the killer) was no taller than me." Amos is 5'2".
(The Texas Resource Center Videotape.) False 7 (see previous
police statement). Amos also stated
that, "...when I saw him standing there with that gun, I just closed
my eyes." "...he just stopped for a second not far from the back
of my car and then he took off..." (Trial and Videotape.)
Amos (or Etuk) told defense investigator, Mervin West,
"She thought he (Graham) had a similar build to the guy who did the
shooting." (West's Affidavit) The newest witness discovery by The
Texas Resource Center is Sherian Etuk who was working at the
supermarket at the time of the killing. It is claimed that as of July,
1993, Etuk has looked at photographs of Graham, taken at the time of the
murder, and is sure Graham was not the killer. Only one catch. At the time
of the murder, Etuk's statement False 8. to police reveals
that she never saw the man's face or the murder. The witnesses who could
not identify Graham either did not see the killer's face, couldn't remember
it, only saw a black man (the killer, an accomplice, anyone, who knows?)
running through the parking lot or didn't see a gunman because they didn't
see the crime. It is important to note that all of the witnesses describing
the killer as of medium height to tall saw the killer standing. The other
witnesses, including Hubbard, saw a black man of 5'5" to 5'7"
running through the parking lot. A 5'9" running man would lose at
least 4" in height due to bent ankles, knees, back and neck, which
is the posture of a person in the act of running. (Trial, etc.) Hubbard
originally told police he possibly could I.D. the killer. Later, at the
live line-up, he told police and Graham's attorney's that he never saw
the killer's face and couldn't I.D. anyone. (Police File, via GGC.) Leodis
Wilkerson, who was 12 years old at the time of the shooting,
witnessed Lambert's murder. His account of the crime scene, and that of
two of his friends, in the car with him, was relayed to police by an adult
relative. The statement was that they had seen a man running in the parking
lot who they thought looked like Curley Scott, the boyfriend of Mrs. Brown's
daughter. Scott, a 5'11", thin black male, was cleared of any involvement.
(Graham's Legal Defense Committee Report, Winter, 1994). Half Truth,
False 9 Dan Grady was unable to identify Gary. Grady couldn't
identify anyone. He stated he could, maybe, I.D. the gun, but not the killer's
face. (Trial). Bobby Lambert was wrongfully listed at 5'6" by the
coroner. His height was correctly established at 5'9" in March 1994.
THE WILMA AMOS REVIEW
JUSTICE FOR ALL agrees with Graham
supporters that Ms. Amos is the single most credible witness for Graham's
defense. The following reviews the ever-changing testimony of Ms. Amos.
Each point compares statements she has made regarding specific events.
The comparisons are not taken out of context. 1) I never saw the gun vs.
I saw the gun; 2) I went home (after the shooting) and drank a half a fifth
of vodka vs. "I don't keep no vodka" vs. "I
took a valium"; 3) the assailant was medium height (5'9") vs.
5'5" vs. 5'2"; 4) I saw the assailant twice vs.
I saw the assailant 3 to 4 times; 5) I saw the assailant leave (the Safeway)
before Bobby Grant Lambert vs. after; 6) Just as I got out of the
store, I heard a shot vs. I left the store and went to my van, I
saw the two men struggle and then I saw the man get shot; 7) the assailant
stood 3 or 4 feet in front of my face vs. we were face to face vs.
I was standing in the middle of my van and he was at the back of my van
vs. I was at the front of my van and the assailant wasn't far from
the end of my van; 8) the assailant stood there for a few minutes vs.
a second; 9) I forgot how he (the assailant) looked vs. it is not
Gary Graham; and 10) Amos doesn't remember being cross examined by defense
attorney Ron Mock vs. there are over 15 pages of trial testimony,
with well over 200 questions and answers involving Mock's cross examination
of Amos. (Sources: Trial Testimony, Houston Press, GGC, The Texas Resource
Center videotape, and Police File, via GGC.)
FALSE CLAIM 10
Two new witnesses (Malcolm and
Lorna Stephens), unknown to prosecution and defense, have come forward,
and said Graham was not the killer. One claims not only to have seen the
actual murderer in 1982, 1983 and 1985 but also to have spoken with him.
Half-Truth, Deemed unreliable. These witnesses have come
up with conflicting and incredible statements, some totally contrary
to the actual crime scene evidence, twelve years after the murder and
after speaking with The Texas Resource Center. They both stated
that they intentionally left the scene without approaching the police to
give statements and now state that the man they saw could have been anyone.
(review of statements and Houston Chronicle, July 4, 1993.)
FALSE CLAIM 11
Almost all the witnesses who have
evidence and testimony that prove Gary Graham's claim of innocence have
never been heard in a court of law or in impartial hearings. Totally
false. None of those witnesses prove Graham's claims of innocence.
A. (1) Alibi-Witnesses:
The affidavits of four purported alibi witnesses were presented in
Graham's writ of habeas corpus (ineffective assistance of counsel claim)
in 1987, six years after the original trial. Mr. Doug O'Brien,
Graham's appellate attorney, presented
two of the four witnesses at the writ hearing in 1988, where District Judge
Don Shipley deemed them not credible. Their hearing testimony was
truly incredible. In order not to injure Graham's case any more, O'Brien
chose not to present the two other purported alibi-witnesses, one being
Loraine Johnson. Furthermore, the judge determined that no one ever came
forward, prior to the original trial date, as an alibi witness, and that
Graham never submitted alibi witnesses to Ron Mock or Chester Thornton,
co-counsels for Graham's defense, with the exception of a girlfriend that
Graham said he was with the night of the murder, a girlfriend whose name,
face and address he couldn't remember. (Hearing Record and False Claims
12 & 22 and pages 8-9, Paragraph A.2.b.) Funny that Graham couldn't
remember his girlfriend, Mary Brown, who later became his wife. Maybe Graham
is lying? Funny that Ms. Brown didn't come forward in 1981, but later came
forward in 1986 as an alibi witness. Maybe it was another girlfriend? Funny
that Graham said he was alone with a girlfriend the night of the murder
and now we have four (five?) people who say they were with him. Funny we
have two completely different stories from Graham and the alleged alibi-witnesses.
(2) Polygraph tests orchestrated
by The Texas Resource Center are daily trumpeted by Graham's backers
as proof that the four alibi witnesses are telling the truth. However,
the head polygrapher for Texas' Department of Public Safety and Eric Holden,
President of the American Polygraph Association, both conclude that the
tests are not valid and are worthless. (Houston Chronicle,
July 4, 1993.)
(3) Isn't anybody curious as to why
none of these alibi witnesses came forward in 1981, knowing that
Graham's life was on the line. They have all stated that none of them came
forward on their own, that it was Graham's grandmother that got them together
so they could give alibi statements to say Graham was with them. Defense
attorney Thornton tried to get Graham's family members and friends to come
forward to testify on Graham's behalf in 1981! Graham's family
knew Thornton because he was also Graham's juvenile attorney (KPFT, 90.1
FM, Houston). Funny, no alibi-witnesses came forward then. Three of the
four alibi witnesses are Graham's relatives and when asked why they did
not come forward in 1981, they say "No one asked me." One of
the alibi witnesses was Graham's girlfriend, Mary Brown, who later became
his wife. If a relative (or lover and future spouse) of yours was on trial
for murder, and you knew that they were with you the night in question,
would you wait 5 years until someone asked you to come forward? (See page
B. Crime Scene Witnesses:
Virtually all of the crime scene witnesses offered prosecution,
not defense, testimony, in 1981, if they offered any thing at all. Even
Doug O'Brien, Graham's 1986-88 appellate attorney, intentionally did not
present any crime scene witnesses at the 1988 court hearings. He didn't
call them because they had nothing to offer for the defense. Only 12 and
13 years after the murder, has some of their testimony changed enough to
be of use to the defense. (See False Claims 1-10 and page 8, Paragraph
"In every case they (the witnesses
supporting Graham) are changing their stories, often fairly abruptly, from
what they said or testified to twelve years ago..... New witnesses have
materialized out of thin air....." My prediction is that as the
case goes on, thrill seekers like this will continue to appear."
(Gregory Curtis, Editor, Texas Monthly, October 1993.)
C. (1) Gary Graham's defense claims
have been reviewed 9 times by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the highest
criminal court in Texas), 2 times by the Texas Supreme Court, 4 times by
the U.S. Supreme Court and in a total of thirty-three (33) judicial
or executive proceedings. (Houston Post, July 29, 1993 and subsequent events,
as of 9/8/96.)
(2) a. Federal District Court Judge
David Hittner ruled that all of Graham's new evidence is not sufficient
to entitle him to a federal hearing and refused Graham a hearing or
a stay of execution. He also stated that several of Graham's new witnesses
were not credible. (Houston Post, August 16, 1993 and Houston Chronicle,
August 14, 1993.)
b. After a thorough review of all
the "new evidence", by himself and his staff, Texas Attorney
General Dan Morales stated, "...that none of that new information
is credible. There is no new evidence. Graham is stalling for time."
The "new evidence" and "revised" witness statements
are ""stoned-cold manufactured evidence." (Houston Chronicle,
August 15, 1993, Houston Sun August 16, 1993 and The Texas Observer, August
c. On April 26, 1993 after a thorough
review of the "new evidence" the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
voted: (Houston Post, August 13, 1993.)
12-5 Against a hearing on
12-1 Against recommending
commutation of Graham's sentence to life.
10-7 Against a stay of execution.
13-0 Against a conditional
The Board found that there is "no
credibility to any of the alleged new information". (Houston Post,
August 14, 1993.)
d. The Houston Post agrees that the
new evidence is not credible. (Houston Post, August 13, 1993.)
FALSE CLAIM 12
Mervin West, a former police
officer and private investigator for Gary Graham's defense lawyers in a
sworn affidavit (dated 1993) swears "...we assumed Gary was guilty
from the start, we did not give his case the same attention we would routinely
give a case. Gary Graham gave Ron Mock a list of alibi witnesses. I did
not talk to any of Gary's alibi witnesses." Half Truth and Contrary
to the Evidence. The same affidavit states that West, "Recently
found the 'lead sheet' from Gary's case. It had only two individuals on
it." These two individuals were crime scene witnesses. There were
no alibi witness names in the file. The "lead sheet" is where
West kept the names of witnesses in his case investigations. "The
black female was helpful even though she could not identify Gary as the
shooter. She thought he (Gary) had a similar build to the guy who did the
shooting." In a later affidavit, April 22, 1993, West stated, in recalling
events twelve years ago, that his memory "could be faulty as hell
due " to being "without oxygen for a long, long, time, resulting
in some brain cell destruction and significant memory loss." "I
am totally aware of the fact that I have before recalled an event one way
when it in fact occurred an entirely different way, and that there are
holes in my memory." (April 22, 1993 Affidavit.) West's own file
notes, revealed in the first affidavit, support the prosecutor's case.
West's recollections, in the first affidavit, are not only contradicted
by the hard evidence in his file, but are made void by his second affidavit.
Furthermore, defense attorneys Mock and Thornton both met extensively with
Graham prior to the 1981 trial. They have both stated that Graham never
mentioned alibi witnesses, with the exception of a girlfriend whose name,
face and address Graham could not remember. (See False Claim 11 and Paragraph
A.2., pages 8-9)
FALSE CLAIMS 13, 14 &
(Regarding the gun and ballistics
report) the Prosecutors gave jurors a false impression that Gary Graham
was guilty. False 13. The gun was not introduced until after
Graham had been found guilty. A medical examiner testified at the trial
that the victim, Bobby Lambert, was killed by a .22 caliber bullet. Later,
a Houston Police officer testified that a .22 caliber pistol was recovered
from Graham at the time of his arrest. Half-Truth, Misleading.
The police officer did not testify until the punishment phase, after Graham
had been found guilty. Yet the D.A. had in its possession a ballistics
report (withheld from the defense) that concluded that the fatal bullet
was not fired by Mr. Graham's gun. False 14 & 15. The
defense also had a copy of the ballistics report, but did not challenge
the gun issue. Had defense counsel brought it up, that would have opened
the door to Graham's nine (9) other weapons and their attendant crimes
and 27 additional victims, none of which or whom was introduced in the
guilt/innocence stage of the trial. (Trial Testimony and Houston Chronicle,
August 19, 1993.) JUSTICE FOR ALL contends the bullet was fired by Graham's
gun, just not one of the 10 in his possession.
FALSE CLAIM 16
Ashanti Chimurenga, Amnesty International
lawyer, has repeatedly stated that Graham victim Greg Jones (attempted
murder, aggravated robbery) told Gary Graham's son, Gary, Jr., that he
(Greg) wanted his father (Gary) dead. (1590 AM, Houston, Rev. Boney's radio
show) Cruel, Slanderous and False. This encounter was witnessed
by a dozen people and was reported in the press as follows: Greg
Jones said to Gary Jr., "I don't have any ill will towards you and
hope that you have a good life." Stated Jones, "(Graham's children)
are just fighting for their father's life and I think they should do that."
(Houston Chronicle, Oct. 2, 1993). Greg Jones personally called Rev. Boney,
the Houston leader for Graham's Coalitions, and asked him to correct these
false and slanderous statements. No correction was aired. Ms. Chimurenga
persists. The Houston Chronicle called that brief meeting between Jones
and Gary, Jr. "a gesture of peace." Note: Ms. Chimurenga
has spoken to many groups on behalf of Amnesty International and GGC. Her
speeches reflect much of the FALSE material from GGC and
some of those speeches have been filmed.
And the question remains, "Why
is it necessary for Graham and his supporters to consistently lie about
the case if he is innocent?"
For the past twelve years, the
only witnesses whose testimony has remained steadfast and unerring have
been that of Bernadine Skillern, the ten (10) victims and witnesses who
testified against Graham during the punishment phase of the trial and the
additional victims of Gary Graham.
III. THE CYNICAL APPROACH:
GARY GRAHAM AND THE
GARY GRAHAM is a founding
editor and writer for the Endeavor newspaper, an anti-death penalty,
death row inmate publication, funded by Amnesty International and the National
Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty, among others. It does, however,
seem to be a propaganda rag which appears to slander a witness and to lie
to support Gary Graham's defense. What do Endeavor and Gary Graham
have to say about the case? The Endeavor material is taken directly
from the newspaper and is not taken out of context.
FALSE CLAIMS 17 &
Graham was convicted solely on the
fabricated testimony of one witness (Bernadine Skillern) who was coerced
into identifying Graham. Graham ponders: What relationship did Skillern
have with Bobby Grant Lambert (the murder victim)? Did Skillern have a
criminal record? If any, what kind of deals were made in exchange for her
fabricated testimony? (Endeavor, Summer 1992 and Spring 1992.) Slanderous
and False. Absolutely no evidence has been brought forward by either
side to support any of this.
FALSE CLAIM 19
"... it was reported that (defense
attorney) Mock and Skillern had been acquainted for a number of years.
Perhaps that explains why Mock was reluctant to discredit Skillern's testimony..."
(Endeavor, Spring 1992.) Slanderous and False. Absolutely
no evidence has been brought forward by either side to support this.
FALSE CLAIMS 20 &
Graham wrote that he had robbed six
or seven people but that, fortunately, none of those were seriously injured,
physically. (Endeavor, Spring 1992.) Outrageously False.
Graham pled guilty to ten aggravated robberies, wherein he attempted to
murder two victims, one was shot in the neck and the other in the leg.
Reportedly, the leg could not be saved. One victim, a 57 year old woman,
was kidnapped and repeatedly raped. Pistol whippings and terror were common
tools of Graham's trade. Eleven (11) additional cases have been cleared
with the identification of Graham's involvement. In one of those cases,
David Spiers became another man shot in the leg. He nearly lost his leg
and his life. Both David and his fiancée positively identified Graham.
It was two years before the victim could walk unaided. And, of course,
Bobby Lambert was murdered. (Houston Post, 5/23/81, etc. and Police file
information released as per Open Records request by the Texas Resource
FALSE CLAIM 22
Graham states that he had the four
alibi witnesses sign affidavits. JFA believes that he did in fact do that.
Graham further states that his two alibi witnesses who testified in the
1988 hearing, "...both attested to the fact that prior to my trial
I had informed them that my state appointed lawyer (Mock) would be calling
them to testify." (Endeavor, Winter 1993.) Totally False.
The opposite was true. Both witnesses testified that they had never heard
from Graham prior to the trial. (1988 Hearing Testimony.)
FALSE CLAIM 23
Characteristically, in the kidnap,
rape and robbery case, Graham actually accuses the victim of robbing him.
(Endeavor, Spring 1992.) False. Graham pled guilty
to aggravated robbery in the case. After Graham passed out in her apartment,
the rape victim testified to getting her money, and some of Graham's, from
his wallet. She also testified that:
"When I knew he was going to
rape me I told him I was 60 years old. He then hit me in the face and said
'don't lie.' He said 'I'm going to fuck you in the ears and the eyes and
every place else.' He raped me until I couldn't stand it any longer and
I screamed and he stopped. He then attempted anal sex. I was screaming
and crying and shaking very, very hard... I was in great pain at that moment,
great pain." (Trial Testimony.)
FALSE CLAIM 24
Graham further states that he knows
he never killed anyone, and he simply cannot understand how or why someone
would claim otherwise. (Endeavor, Spring 1992.) False.
Graham told one robbery victim, Rick Sanford, that he had killed six
people already and if the victim wanted to be seven to do something
stupid (Trial Testimony). To the 57 year old rape victim, Lisa Blackburn,
Graham stated, "I have already killed three people and I'm going
to kill you. You don't mean nothing to me bitch." (Trial Testimony
and CBS, Channel 11 News, Houston, 10:00pm, July 29, 1993.) In addition,
to Ms. Blackburn Graham stated "I don't have nothing to lose. I
don't plan to get caught. If I get caught, I burn, and I'm not getting
caught." (Trial Testimony.) To one of the shooting victims, David
Spiers, Graham said, after I kill you, I am going back (to your broken
down car) to kill your fiancé and her parents so they can go with
you to "honky hell". Before I kill your fiancé I'm
going to rape her. (From David Spiers' letter.) Michael LeRoy Breazeale
was arrested for attempted murder in January 1982 and was put in a cell
next to Graham at the Harris County Jail. Graham told Breazeale that,
not only did he shoot this guy from Arizona (Lambert), but that he enjoyed
it and that he had shot other people and that we are all prey out there.
Graham stated "I've already killed a tourist and I'll kill you
too. You're just a tourist in jail." (Public News, Houston, July
9, 1993.) After making victim Richard Carter, Jr. kneel down and after
putting a shotgun in his mouth, Graham stated, "I'll kill you,
too. Blowing away another white mother fucker don't mean nothing to me."
(Trail Testimony). For four (4) consecutive days after the trial, Carter
received phone calls, calls he believes were from Graham, where the following
was said, "I'm going to kill you when I get out. I'll hunt you
down and kill you before I die". (Richard Carter Statement.) After
the death sentence was imposed, court bailiff Larry Pollinger escorted
Graham to a holding cell. Graham stated, "Next time, I'm not leaving
any witnesses." Pollinger reported the incident the same day to
Assistant Harris County District Attorney Carl Hobbs, who confirms the
account. (Newsweek, August 9, 1993.) Truly, it was only providence that
saved the many intended murder victims above.
DAMAGE BY THE ENDEAVOR
As the founder of and writer for
the ENDEAVOR, and as the President of THE ENDEAVOR PROJECT,
Graham's lies and distortions taint every story by all death penalty abolitionists,
including death row inmates, who write for any publication. This
seems to be of little concern to those who support the anti-death penalty
movement and the ENDEAVOR.
Those participants in Graham's Coalitions
and in THE ENDEAVOR PROJECT who stand by and do nothing when fraud
becomes an integral part of strategy have become a source of betrayal and
distrust that has an adverse affect on that movement. Those who actively
participate in the lies and distortions, if allowed to continue, will cause
The abolitionist movement has squandered
millions of dollars and man-hours on fraudulent cases. As lies, half-truths
and intimidation continue to be the foundation of these worldwide causes
celebre', the abolitionist movement will continue to loose credibility.
It happened to the Shepherd Boy who cried wolf and it will happen to these
frauds as well.
Note: The Endeavor
ceased publication for most of 1994. JUSTICE FOR ALL believes that occurred
because the lies finally caught up to them. In the Winter 1995 Endeavor,
Graham did not mention one word about his case. Maybe Graham and his fellow
Endeavor writers and editors will attempt to stop lying or, at the
very least, limit their tales to half-truths.
Graham's well documented lies
and distortions have been so blatant that, should Graham somehow get any
opportunity to testify, his attorneys would have to advise him to keep
quiet. (JUSTICE FOR ALL).
"In short, Gary Graham is
a liar, a fact that should trouble those who are staking their time, effort
and reputations on his claims of innocence. Even worse, his writings reveal
him to be cold enough to be a killer after all." (Texas Monthly, October
IV. INADEQUATE COUNSEL?
AND THE TEXAS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Pro-Graham supporters have consistently
attacked Graham's attorneys' defense and the State of Texas, both of which,
they say, contributed to a terrible miscarriage of justice. Let's look
at the facts.
A. Inadequate Counsel:
Graham supporters have specifically targeted Ron Mock, one of Graham's
1981 attorneys. Somehow Chester Thornton, Graham's 1981 co-counsel, and
Doug O'Brien, Graham's first appellate attorney, have escaped their wrath.
Thornton knew Graham's family because he was also Graham's juvenile attorney.
Thornton contacted Graham's family members for the trial in 1981, hoping
to get them to come forward on Graham's behalf. Funny, no alibi witnesses
came forward then. Thornton was equally responsible for Graham's defense.
Doug O'Brien had every opportunity to present all of Graham's known alibi
and crime scene witnesses at Graham's 1988 hearing. Why didn't he? See
2.a. & 2.b., below.
1) Target Mock - The
GGC has made a mission of ruining Mock's reputation, to destroy him professionally,
a. Make Mock Capitulate -
Graham supporters believe that if enough damage is done to Mock's professional,
economic life, that Mock may assist them in their efforts. To a small degree
that pressure may be getting to Mock. States Mock, "...when you're
talking about killing somebody on the testimony of one eyewitness, it bothers
me." This was the first time in 12 years that Mock publicly expressed
this concern. Conversely, over the past 12 years Mock has repeatedly stated
his confidence in the trial. (Houston Press Feb. 16, 1994. JFA's reviews
of Houston Press articles regarding this case are available upon request.)
(See False Claims 2-9.)
b. Mock's Capital Trial Record
- Graham's supporters have repeatedly attacked Graham's attorneys' competence,
based upon the fact that 12 of Mock's 16 capital case clients have ended
up on death row. What they don't tell you is that Harris County (Houston)
juries sentence murderers to death in 75% of those cases where the District
Attorney's Office, the Penal Code, the crime and the evidence deem capital
punishment appropriate (see Page 9, Paragraph C.) Mock's capital trial
record is identical with the sentencing record of Harris County juries.
Furthermore, Ron Mock is noted as consistently taking the worst of the
worst cases, cases often turned down by other attorneys. Mock does, however,
have a mixed reputation (Houston Press, 2/16/94) . His handling of the
Graham case is under attack, however, because, 1) that is part of the agenda
to free Graham and 2) Graham's supporters argue that another trial strategy
would have exonerated Graham. Although that is FALSE 25 (see
A.1.c. and A.2. and 3., below), it is easy propaganda fodder.
c. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
claims are almost standard in death row appeals. However, to prove this
claim, Graham's new attorneys must prove that Mock's and Thornton's trial
strategy (see A.3., below) was not sound strategy. Not surprisingly, in
Graham's case, all state and federal courts have, so far, rejected this
"That Graham's attorneys kept
their client's myriad armed robberies and shootings from the jury is a
fact conveniently overlooked by those so critical of the conduct of the
trial." (Texas Monthly, October 1993.)
2) Lack of Investigation
- Graham supporters claim that the defense's lack of investigation is what
led to Graham's conviction. What did the defense team know in 1981?
a. Eyewitnesses - In 1981,
Amos, Hubbard, Etuk, Wilkerson and Grady couldn't identify the killer as
Graham, or as anyone else. Nor could they, or did they, say it wasn't Graham.
Skillern positively identified Graham. Skillern, Grady, Amos and Wilkerson
all identified the killer as a young, thin black male, from medium height
to tall. Graham was 5'9", 145 lbs. Amos (or Etuk) described the killer
as having a similar build to Graham. Malcolm and Lorna Stevens did not
come forward until 1993. (See False Claims 6-10 and 12).
b. Alibi-Witnesses - Loraine
Johnson (one of the 4-5 purported alibi witnesses) states, in 1993, that
she told Mock or Thornton, at the 1981 trial, that she was an alibi-witness.
Not only do Mock and Thornton both deny being told that, Doug O'Brien,
Graham's appellate attorney (from 1986-88) also denies being told that.
O'Brien even refused to put Ms. Johnson on the stand in the 1988 appeals
hearing. Ms. Johnson curiously forgot to mention that purported 1981 conversation
in her 1987 affidavit. She decided to wait twelve years before swearing
to this purported incident. The purported alibi-witnesses first came forward
in 1986, five years after Graham's trial. (See False Claims 11, 12,
c. The Single Eyewitness
- Because of Graham's voluminous criminal pursuits, it was mandatory
that defense counsel prevent Graham's criminal rampage from entering the
guilt/innocence stage of the trial. Counsel knew that Graham's only chance
to avoid life imprisonment or the death penalty was to get a verdict of
innocent. Therefore, defense strategy consisted of challenging the single
eyewitness in an attempt to create "reasonable doubt" in the
minds of the jury. This is precisely what Mock and Thornton told jurors
when the trial was over (Jurors' statement). Had defense counsel allowed
any testimony into the trial which opened the door to Graham's other "similar
crimes", then charges of inadequate defense counsel would be justified.
(See False Claims No. 20, 21 & 24, & Chapters VI & VII.)
1981 Presiding Judge Richard Trevathan, who has served in numerous murder
trials as either prosecutor, judge or defense attorney, called Bernadine
"...The most impressive and
believable witness (I) had encountered in twenty (20) years of courtroom
experience." (Human Events, September 4, 1993.) (See full bold paragraph
on page 15.)
d. The Gun Issue -
(See False Claims 13, 14 and 15).
3) The Victim: GGC
have relentlessly attacked the character of Graham murder victim Bobby
Lambert. They state that Lambert was the victim of a professional hit because
of Lambert's alleged cons and drug activities. (GGC public access video,
other publications.) LUDICROUS. Even the testimony of GGC
prize witness, Wilma Amos, rebuts such an assumption. GGC further states
that Lambert's roommate mysteriously disappeared and was never questioned
in the murder. FALSE 26. Even one of Graham's attorneys,
Robert Jones, stated that the roommate had been questioned. He was released
because he was not a suspect. (Rev. Boney's radio show, KYOK 1590 AM, Houston).
Ashanti Chimurenga (Amnesty International) states that Lambert's van contained
illegal weapons. FALSE 27. Lambert was moving from his home
in Arizona. As such, his van was full of his belongings, including 3 legal
shotguns. A small amount of marijuana was found in the glove compartment.
This red herring goes on and on and on.
B. Perjury and Threats Against
We call on the Harris County District
Attorney, the Texas Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department to
investigate the ever changing testimonies of Graham's new and old witnesses
and the involvement of The Texas Resource Center and other attorneys,
therewith. Furthermore, such investigations should review the threats and
acts of intimidation against Bernadine Skillern and the other victims/witnesses
who have or would testify against Graham.
C. The Texas Criminal Justice
1) The Texas Death Penalty
- Request JFAs Death Penalty and Sentencing Information report.
2) The 30-Day Rule
- Texas had a rule whereby new evidence must be introduced within thirty
(30) days of conviction to be considered. However, the thirty (30)
day rule existed in Texas, and fourteen (14) other states, precisely
because of the kind of fraudulent claims presented in the Graham case.
The search for evidence generally takes place for four (4) months to
a year or longer before trial--then an additional thirty (30) days
after trial. Graham's attorneys have, however, presented his voluminous
record every step of the way, one review involving a hearing, with witness
testimony. This evidence was heard and/or ruled upon many times over the
past 15 years. Did the thirty (30) day rule affect the 1988 hearing or
the additional thirty-two (32) case reviews up through 9/1/96? No. The
important question is, "Have judges and district attorneys rejected
a hearing on compelling, credible evidence of innocence in Graham's
case?" The answer is, again, no. HEARINGS ARE NOT ORDERED ON THE
BASIS OF NOT CREDIBLE EVIDENCE.
3) Racism - a. The
Texas Criminal Justice System. Graham supporters consistently refer
to the Texas Criminal Justice System as racist. Let us review the actions
of that system, in Graham's case: seven (7) stays or delays of execution
over the past fifteen (15) years; thirty-three (33) judicial or executive
reviews of Graham's claims, twenty of which were state reviews, including
complete reviews of all of Graham's evidence as presented by Graham's attorneys
(as of 9/1/96). All courts of jurisdiction that have reviewed the
evidence, as presented by Graham's attorneys, have deemed it not credible.
The U.S. Supreme Court (4 times), and all other Federal Appellate Courts,
have denied Graham's appeals, after complete reviews of all the evidence
presented by Graham's attorneys. (See Chapter V and request JFAs Death
Penalty & Sentencing Report).
b. Imposition of the Death Penalty
in Harris County (Houston) Texas. A thorough examination of the death
penalty, as imposed by Harris County (Houston) juries, since 1982, found
that there was no pattern of discrimination. The death penalty was imposed
on white and black murderers in proportion to the capital offenses committed
by those race classifications. (The Houston Post, 10/16/94) (See Chapter
V and request JFAs report DEATH PENALTY AND SENTENCING INFORMATION
in the United States)
4) The Texas Board of Pardons
and Paroles - The Parole Board has some problems, namely Kenneth
McDuff, Raul Meza, Michael Blair, and James Granberry among many others.
However, any problems the Board might have are not involved in their handling
of the Graham case. The Board recognized, as did the Texas Attorney General's
office, that the "new evidence" and "revised" witness
statements are "stone-cold manufactured evidence". (Texas
Observer, August 20, 1993.)
Highly respected U.S. Congress
Member Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was so compelled by the false and misleading
material presented to him by GGC that he spoke on Graham's behalf before
the House of Representatives. (Aug. 1993). Representative Lewis has since
been sent 2 copies of this report.
The Congressional Black Caucus
(CBC) had announced plans to come to Texas on Graham's behalf in the fall
of 1993. After many CBC members received this report, that trip was canceled.
V. THE CASE FOR RACISM
JUSTICE FOR ALL contends that the
charges of racism have been used, repeatedly, and will continue to be used
by the pro-Graham movement in an attempt to intimidate Texas State officials
and opponents of that movement and to give the false impression that Graham's
death sentence was the result of racial bias. The endless, unsubstantiated
claims of racism in this case have done nothing but further erode the credibility
of Graham's Coalitions and the anti-death penalty movement. Let's look
at the facts.
A) Graham's trial jury was multiracial.
Their verdict and sentencing unanimous.
B) Ron Mock and Chester Thornton,
Graham's co-counsel for Graham's defense are black.
C) Bernadine Skillern, the unwavering
and courageous eyewitness to the murder of Bobby Grant Lambert, is black.
Ms. Skillern has repeatedly stated that:
"This is not a black and white
issue, it is a right and wrong issue."
Pro-Graham supporters passed out
flyers throughout Ms. Skillern's neighborhood and elsewhere, identifying
her by name, falsely, as the sole, questionable eyewitness who was sending
an innocent man to his death. Only one reason exists for such an effort
- that fear and intimidation will subject a witness to such distress that
she would recant her testimony. As a result of those flyers, Graham followers
repeatedly egged Ms. Skillern's house and car. She received threats of
physical harm and lives in fear for her life. She was forced to get an
unlisted phone number. She had to hire an attorney to protect her rights
and she became a virtual recluse and prisoner in her own home and was ultimately
forced to move from her home. All for doing her civic duty and coming forward
with the truth. She did not, however, succumb to this dishonorable and
cruel treatment. Her testimony remains unshakable.
"If the police had placed 100
photographs of people matching the description which I gave of the killer
and among those 100 photographs there was 1 photograph of Gary Graham,
I, absolutely, would have selected his picture. Graham killed Bobby Lambert
and I saw him do it." (Bernadine Skillern.) See bold paragraph, page
D) The majority of Graham's victims
were white. Graham repeatedly used racial slurs against his victims. However,
JUSTICE FOR ALL doesn't believe Graham was anything more or less than a
remorseless predator, seeking prey. We believe that he was an equal opportunity
felon. To our knowledge the victims did not care that Graham or his accomplices
were black. They cared that he was a vicious criminal intent on harm.
"Never have we found the pain
of a parent of a murdered child connected to the race of the killer. Victims
are overwhelmingly 'Loss-Conscious', not 'Race-Conscious'." (JFA)
Society, individual victims and survivors
paid a heavy price for the carnage wreaked by Graham. A price rarely, if
ever, acknowledged by Graham or his supporters.
E) After a complete review of the
"new evidence", as presented by Graham's defense team, in April
1993, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted, overwhelmingly, against
Graham's request for an evidentiary hearing, finding the "new evidence"
insufficient and not credible. The Board is multiracial.
F) Texas Attorney General Dan Morales
has been accused by the pro-Graham movement of being racist and immoral
because he found Graham's "new evidence" not credible
and is, therefore, pursuing his execution. Morales is Hispanic. (Houston
Chronicle, August 14, 1993.) All who know Morales find these claims totally
ludicrous. Those who reviewed the case in the multi-racial Attorney General's
office concluded that Graham's attorneys have presented "stone-cold
manufactured evidence." (Texas Observer, August 20, 1993.)
G) Graham supporters consistently
refer to the Texas Criminal Justice System as racist. Let us review the
actions of that system, in Graham's case: seven (7) stays or delays of
execution over the past fifteen years; thirty-three(33) judicial or executive
reviews of Graham's claims, twenty (20) of which were state reviews, always
including complete reviews all of the evidence as presented by Graham's
attorneys. Hardly a racist rush to the gallows. In addition, JUSTICE FOR
ALL estimates that Graham could file 6-10 additional appeals, lasting through
2007 resulting in a full 26 years on death row. However, JUSTICE FOR ALL
believes that The Texas Resource Center's latest argument, that
lengthy stays on death row violate the constitutional prohibition against
cruel and unusual punishment, will significantly speed up the execution
of Graham and many other death row inmates in the United States. (see Lackey
vs. Texas and Burdine vs. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court, March, 1995.)
H) Members of Graham's Coalitions
accused victims' rights groups of forming a "white lynch mob"
for supporting the state's capital murder case and for opposing the retrial
of death row inmate Gary Graham. "That's the way it needs to be characterized
because that's what it is..." said Susan Dillow, the white California
accountant who is Graham's pen pal and major supporter. (Houston Chronicle
June 24, 1993.) Mrs. Dillow was referring to rallies held in downtown Houston.
Pam Lychner, herself a victim of violent crime, and an active victim's
advocate, organized those rallies to show support for the many victims
of Gary Graham and to counter Graham's Coalitions' fraudulent publicity
campaign maintaining his innocence. In addition to victims of Graham, there
were numerous members of Parents of Murdered Children, and other victims
of violent crime present. Petitions were signed to fight the parole of
Coral Eugene Watts and to protest the Court of Criminal Appeals decision
ordering retrials in the murder cases of defendants Lionelle Rodriguez
and Ernest Jenkins, the murderers of children Tracy Gee and Mark and Kara
Kelley, respectively, and other cases. JUSTICE FOR ALL was an outgrowth
of those rallies, which occurred in June of 1993. JUSTICE FOR ALL, a criminal
justice reform organization, was founded in mid-July, 1993. Numerous people
came to the rallies with posters calling for the executions of Gary Graham,
Kenneth McDuff and others. That is a free speech issue, not a racial one.
We will not distance ourselves from those who call for the execution of
violent criminals, nor from those who condemn capital punishment. We hope
to avoid those like Susan Dillow, whose comments stem from ignorance and
insensitivity and whose motives, at least in this case, seem to be to fan
the flames of division.
I) Members of Graham's Coalitions
have stated that the criminal who attacked Pam Lychner was black. False
28. He is white. Rev. Boney has, reportedly, also said this on
his radio show. Graham's Coalitions would like to portray Pam Lychner and
JUSTICE FOR ALL's involvement in this case as racially motivated, a portrayal
easier to manipulate if Pam Lychner's attacker was black. As other falsehood's
have come back to haunt GGC, this one also has.
J) Ashanti Chimurenga, of Amnesty
International, has stated that JUSTICE FOR ALL's involvement in the Graham
case stems from our outrage that Hollywood would come to the aid of a black
man in Texas. FALSE 29 and, we believe, intended to foster racial
tension. As we have told all Graham's Hollywood supporters, in
writing and on Good Morning America, The Maury Povich Show, etc. we welcome
and support their work on behalf of civil and human rights. They should,
however, have learned more about this case before becoming involved.
In fact, it is Graham's Hollywood supporters who are outraged at being
misled and lied to by Graham's Coalitions. (See False Claim 16.)
K) Fear and intimidation have been
used repeatedly by pro-Graham supporters in an effort to stifle opposition.
Remarks about the "consequences" and "unrest in
the streets" if Graham is executed or not given a new trial have
been made by Rev. James Dixon and Rev. Jew Don Boney. (Houston Post, August
16, 1993 and Houston Chronicle June 24, 1993.) The Rev. Dixon further warned
the public that riots, similar to those in Los Angeles, could occur in
Houston if Gary Graham is executed. (Endeavor Spring/Summer 1993.)
THESE COMMENTS ARE HIGHLY INFLAMMATORY, TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE AND POTENTIALLY
VERY DANGEROUS. JUSTICE FOR ALL calls for the peaceful employment of
free speech, assembly and protest. Both men have contributed to Graham's
fraudulent claims by distributing Graham Coalition literature to their
congregations and followers. We call upon both men to distribute this letter
to their congregations/supporters, as we have their claims to our membership.
If the pro-Graham movement really believes in Graham's innocence why
have lies, half truths and intimidation become the foundation upon which
the movement has been built?
L) Update - Since JUSTICE FOR ALL's initial
involvement in exposing the lies of Graham and his coalitions, we have
been subjected to intimidation and harassment. From Nov. 94 - July 95,
the harassment increased dramatically, to the extent we have had to get
the Houston Police Department and Southwestern Bell involved. The timing
of the increased harassment coincides with our mailings to British Parliament,
the London Press, many Houston ministries and to all anti-death penalty
organizations. While the Graham case makes up only a small percentage of
JUSTICE FOR ALL's work, we feel it likely that our success in exposing
this worldwide fraud of Graham's Coalitions has been the source of the
intimidation and harassment. No harassment has occurred since July of 1995,
coincidentally, the same time Grahams Coalitions abandoned this fraud.
M) "If a disproportionate number
of death row inmates are black, it is because a disproportionate number
of criminals are black. Blame poor backgrounds, weak families, mean streets,
bad schools, no jobs, or just plain bad people, whatever. A disproportionate
number of criminals are black, Hispanic and other minorities. It is not
lawless or racist to acknowledge that. It is honest." "Graham
is not the victim here, his punishment is well-deserved and the execution,
long overdue." "...each time (his trial and appeals) have failed,
not because (Graham) is black or racially persecuted, but because he is
thoroughly guilty." (Lori Rodriguez, Hispanic Columnist, Houston
Chronicle, August 14, 1993.)
N) In USA Today (August 16,
1993), Danny Glover states that the Graham case "...like so many others,
represents a growing pattern on the part of the 'justice' system to criminalize
black youth." Mr. Glover and others don't understand that victims
and other citizens believe Gary Graham was criminalizing the State of Texas.
Some individuals are determined that those who commit violent acts should
be known as the victims. JUSTICE FOR ALL demands that those who violently
destroy the lives of others be held responsible. Tragically, black teen
males are 9 times more likely to commit murder than their white counterparts,
and are murdered 8 times more often. (U.S.A. Today, 4/25/94.) In
84%-94% of all murders, the killer and the victim are of the same race.
Who do you think is the victim?
As racism is part of the world,
so too is it present in the Texas criminal justice system. However, do
not use the false claim of racism to support the ill conceived and dishonest
effort to free a guilty man. (JUSTICE FOR ALL.)
VI. THE SAYINGS OF
Most of the following Gary Graham
quotes are from 1981 and are recounted by those who Graham victimized,
noted in parentheses. (See False Claim 24, Page 7)
A. "I've killed six people already,
if you want to be number seven do something stupid." (From kidnap/robbery
victim Rick Sanford, 1981.)
B. "After I kill you, I am going
back (to your broken down car) to kill your fiancée and her parents
so they can go with you to 'honky hell'. Before I kill your fiancée,
I'm going to rape her." (From kidnap/attempted murder victim David
C. "I'll kill you, too.
Blowing away another white mother fucker don't mean nothing to me."
(From robbery victim Richard Carter, 1981.)
D. "I'm going to kill you when
I get out. I'll hunt you down and kill you before I die." (From calls
that Richard Carter received for four days after the trial, calls he believes
were from Graham, 1981.)
E. "I have already killed three
people and I'm going to kill you. You don't mean nothing to me bitch."
(From the kidnap, rape and robbery victim, 1981.)
F. "I've already killed a tourist
(Bobby Lambert) and I'll kill you, too. You're just a tourist in jail."
(From Harris County Jail neighbor Breazeale, 1981.)
G. "(Murder victim) Lambert
had an extensive criminal record and was known to the police as a 'con
artist and a drug dealer'." 1992 This sounds surprisingly
like "He (she) deserved it", the heinous defense used against
rape victims. JFA (See page 9, A.4.) According to GGC, at the time of the
murder, Mr. Lambert was, reportedly, under subpoena by a federal grand
jury regarding drug activity.
H. "I'm just a hustler."
(From robbery/attempted murder victim Greg Jones, 1981, just
prior to smiling at Jones and putting a bullet through his neck.)
I. "When I knew Graham was going
to rape me, I told him I was 60 years old. He then hit me in the face and
then he said 'don't lie'. He said 'I'm going to fuck you in the ears and
the eyes and every place else.'" (From the kidnap, rape and robbery
victim who spent 5 terrifying hours with Graham, 1981.) (See
False Claim 23.)
J. "I robbed six or seven people.
Fortunately, none of those victims were seriously injured, physically."
1992. TOTALLY FALSE. (See False Claims 20 & 21.)
K. "I don't have one thing to
lose. I don't plan to get caught. If I get caught, I burn and I'm not getting
caught." (From kidnap, rape and robbery victim, 1981.)
L. "Next time, I'm not leaving
any witnesses." (Right after Graham was sentenced to death, from court
bailiff Larry Pollinger 1981.)
WHILE THE COVER HAS
CHANGED, THE BOOK REMAINS THE
SAME. - JFA
JUSTICE FOR ALL believes that Gary
Graham has confessed to the murder of Bobby Grant Lambert and others. Although
Graham's admissions of the number he killed varied and may reflect
"macho" exaggerations, all of his victims were convinced of the
authenticity of his admissions and his threats, a belief which is strongly
supported by the proven cases of three attempted murders and one murder.
In the event a hearing or new trial is ordered, JUSTICE FOR ALL looks forward
to the above individuals, and many others, testifying.
Consistently lying to sway public
opinion and to fool Graham's well-meaning believers and the media has become
a trademark of Gary Graham and some of his most outspoken supporters.
FALSE CLAIM 30
Graham states; "It was because
of the other crimes that I had committed, that led to my conviction in
this case because everyone automatically assumed I was guilty." (CBS,
Channel 11 News, Houston, 10:00pm, August 3, 1993.) False. The jury
knew nothing of the other crimes. Only after Graham was found guilty
were the additional crimes presented for the punishment phase of the trial.
Gary Graham shows total disregard
for the truth throughout his writings and interviews. More revealing, though,
is the total lack of remorse which he exhibits for his many victims. Prophetically,
Graham sarcastically reveals, "We make celebrities out of deranged
killers while ignoring the needs of their victims." (Endeavor,
Spring 1992.) Not once has Graham or his coalitions offered any assistance
to Grahams victims.
Danny Glover states that his high
profile support of Gary Graham is based upon details sent to him by Graham
backers. "The information provided me gave me the feeling that this
man was innocent of the crime." (Newsweek, 8/9/93.) For Glover to
base his involvement on feelings and propaganda, and not on factual considerations,
is consistent with the immature, irresponsible support offered by Hollywood's
crusaders for Graham. It should be noted that at least six JUSTICE FOR
ALL presentations of the Graham case have been sent to Mr. Glover. Just one week after the 8/9/93 Newsweek article, Glover stated that the issue
is not Graham's innocence (People, 8/16/93). Maybe he read this report
after all. No Graham supporter has ever called us to question the material
or asked us to supply verifying data. When Mr. Glover was in Houston in
August, 1993, we tried to hand him another package. He rejected it. However,
JUSTICE FOR ALL did deliver one to his driver.
JUSTICE FOR ALL does not reject information
on this or any other case. Only those willing and eager to remain ignorant
reject additional information on those subjects which they reportedly care
about. Specifically, we request that Mr. Glover, Ms. Dillow, and all members
of Graham's Coalitions send all their flyers, all Endeavor publications
and any new witness statements to our offices. To date, they have not done
so. Why do you think that is? How has JFA responded to this total lack
of cooperation? JFA has supplied, and will continue to supply, all available
information to Grahams Coalitions as it becomes available. No request
Susan Dillow, the tireless California
pen pal of Graham states, regarding the supporters of Graham, "They
care, they really, deeply care whether a black man in Texas, who comes
from the 5th Ward in Houston, gets justice or not." Mrs. Dillow, we
care about justice anywhere for anyone, regardless of color. We care that
Mrs. Dillow is a contributor to Gary Graham's newspaper and to Graham's
Coalitions, both of which consistently lie and tell half-truths about the
Graham case and the frequency and brutality of his crimes. We care that
Susan Dillow called the victims of Gary Graham a "white lynch mob".
(Houston Chronicle June 24, 1993.) According to Mrs. Dillow, Rev. Jew Don
Boney (co-founder, Gary Graham Justice Coalition) had previously turned
down requests to help Graham and continued that reluctance until she said,
"Okay, Jew Don, what's it going to take?" After she pledged $5,000,
he began his efforts on the Graham case (Houston Press, September 9, 1993.)
We agree with Rev. William Lawson's philosophy that what a preacher says
from his pulpit really should come from some higher source than a paymaster.
We strongly support the presentation
of any new credible evidence of guilt or innocence in all cases.
We also support the victims of violent crimes, which includes all of society.
We support witness Bernadine Skillern who has been threatened by Graham
supporters, whose house and car have been pummeled with eggs, and who had
become a virtual prisoner in her own home and was eventually forced to
move. We care that this case may affect future victims' and witnesses' willingness
to come forward.
We care that it is people like Gary
Graham and those who support violent criminals who cause all of us, including
those in Houston's 5th Ward, to live with the fear that keeps us prisoners
in our own homes.
We care that The Texas Resource
Center's involvement in the Gary Graham case shows frightening similarities
to the Black/Deckard fiasco, wherein Gary Deckard later reversed his trial
testimony in Robert Black's murder trial after working with Eden Harrington,
executive director of The Texas Resource Center and that, after
said reversal, Deckard was indicted for perjury. Bond for Deckard's release
was posted by Harrington and then Harrington took the Fifth Amendment when
questioned in Deckard's perjury trial. (Houston Post May 23, 1981 and August
1, 1993.) We care that an inmate/witness has stated that The Texas Resource
Center attorneys have asked him to perjure himself. (Houston Post,
July 29, 1993.) We care that The Texas Resource Center attorneys
are acting as federally funded P.R. liaisons for GGC, reciting falsehoods
from GGC literature, as well as creating new lies on their own. We care
that much of the "evidence", so publicly displayed by The
Texas Resource Center, is part of their major public relations effort
and, as such, is so fraudulent that they would never present it to a judge.
We care that on August 14, 1993 the Texas Resource Center held a
mock trial which demonstrated the level to which Graham's attorneys would
sink. This public propaganda display used evidence and videotapes produced
at taxpayer expense, in violation of the Resource Center's charter.
With no cross examination and no review of prior, conflicting testimony,
this mock(ery) trial violated legal codes of ethics and presented an excellent
case for totally revamping the management of the Texas Resource Center.
Eden Harrington was, soon thereafter, replaced as executive director
of the Texas Resource Center (Houston Chronicle, 11/7/93). Update - We care
that the systematic lies and abuses of The Texas and National
Resource Centers caused all federal funding for these organizations
to be terminated on September 30, 1995. We care that the tactics of The
Texas Resource Center and the lies and abuses of the anti-death penalty
groups, the Endeavor and the pro-Graham movement may have a long
term, negative affect on those death row inmates who have credible claims
We care that Graham's Coalitions
have presented to our children that millions of dollars and dozens of celebrities
can be used to support a truly vicious and remorseless criminal.
We care that...
In all, nineteen (19) victims/eyewitnesses
have identified Gary Graham as the car thief, kidnapper, robber, rapist,
attempted murderer or murderer in twenty-two (22) separate criminal incidents
involving a total of twenty-eight (28) victims. Graham has pled guilty
to ten (10) aggravated robberies. Eleven (11) additional cases were cleared
wherein eyewitnesses have made positive identification of Graham or where
physical evidence or overwhelming circumstantial evidence tied Graham to
the case. In one case, the murder of Bobby Lambert, he was found guilty.
Every aggravated case involved the use of either a pistol or shotgun. Pistol
whipping was not uncommon and many of the crimes involved an assortment
of accomplices. The methods of operation for Gary Graham's crime spree
are very similar, if not identical, in the vast majority of the cases,
including the murder of Bobby Lambert. (Houston Post, May 23, 1981 and
August 14, 1993, Houston Chronicle, August 15, 1993 and numerous other
issues and Graham's crime spree report, released via The Texas Resource
Center's open records request.) This litany of destruction does not
include Graham's juvenile record, which is confidential.
Most importantly (for those who
question the reliability of a "single eyewitness", such as Bernadine
Skillern), 10 of the 22 cases involve a single eyewitness positively identifying
Graham as the perpetrator. He pled guilty in 7 of those single eyewitness
cases; cases 8 and 9 were cleared with the positive identifications of
Graham; the 10th case is the murder of Bobby Lambert, the only capital
case and, not surprisingly, the only case challenged by Graham. Even without
the Lambert case, single eyewitness identification has a 90% success rate
with Graham victims; with the Lambert case, it is 100%.
Everything in here is true and part
of the record. Most importantly, EDUCATE YOURSELF! We challenge
GGC or The Texas Resource Center to dispute these facts. In addition,
you can verify this report through JUSTICE FOR ALL (we have all sources)
or through Bernadine Skillern's attorney Rusty Hardin, or ask Gary Graham.
Maybe Graham will tell you what he told Greg Jones just before he shot
Greg in the throat.
"I'm just a hustler..."
To the Media and Graham supporters:
You have been misled by Graham's
Coalitions and the anti-death penalty movement once. Please, be thorough
in your investigations and cautious in the future.
1) The false claims of Graham's
Coalitions also appear in Graham's Endeavor newspaper. Example:
False Claims 1 and 2 appear in the Spring/Summer 1993 Endeavor.
2) Gary Graham's Coalitions are
known by a variety of names, such as:
The Gary Graham Legal Defense
The Gary Graham Justice Coalition
Gary Graham Defense Council
The Gary Graham Justice Campaign
The Endeavor Project
The Gary Graham Coalition
It seems that the actions of the
Gary Graham Justice Coalition have so discredited the Pro-Graham Movement
that they changed their name to the Gary Graham Legal Defense Committee,
which carries on the tradition of false and misleading material.
Active participants in the Pro-Graham
The National Coalition to Abolish
the Death Penalty
The Texas Resource Center
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The Texas Conference of Churches
3) The continuing campaign of
misinformation by Graham's supporters could not be completely addressed,
herein. Should you desire reviews of:
The Graham Coalitions' rebuttal
to this letter;
The Winter, 1994 Gary Graham Legal
Defense Committee Report;
Graham's "Don't Execute an
Other fraud filled articles, publications,
films or flyers; and/or if you have any additional questions, please call
"Graham did get a fair trial
precisely because he was convicted of a crime that one can believe without
a reasonable doubt he committed. His trial was fair because, if he were
retried and his dubious evidence admitted, he would still be convicted."
(Texas Monthly, October 1993.)
times since 4/9/99