Students Raise Money For Speaking Fee That Texas School Wouldn’t Pay

Students at Prairie View A&M are raising money to pay a speakers fee to exonerated death row inmate Anthony Graves, whom the state refused to pay because of unpaid child support that accrued while he was behind bars.

Anthony Graves (File)

GALVESTON (May 3, 2011)--Students at Prairie View A&M University are trying to raise money to pay a wrongfully imprisoned Texas inmate a $250 speaking fee that the state refused to pay over unpaid child support that accrued while the man was on death row.

Anthony Graves recently visited Prairie View A&M to tell his story of spending 18 years behind bars, including 12 on death row, for murders that prosecutors now say he didn't commit.

The state comptroller’s office refuses to pay Graves nearly $1.4 million in compensation because the order detailing Graves' exoneration lacks the words "actual innocence."

Graves is suing to change the order.

And to add insult to injury, a judge ruled that Graves owes back child support that went unpaid while he was wrongfully imprisoned.

That’s what led to the state’s refusal to pay the speaking fee.

Graves told the Houston Chronicle he was "touched" by the efforts of Prairie View students.

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