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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 stupid."
~ Gary Graham
HOW THE GARY GRAHAM CASE BECAME A
WORLDWIDE CAUSE CELEBRE’
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 in 1993.
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 stay.
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 to.
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 manufactured evidence".
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 this report.
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 & 5
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, 1993.)
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 & 9
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 theshooting, 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. Furthermore:
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 9., 2.b.)
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 A.2.a.)
"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 20, 1993.)
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 new evidence.
12-1 Against recommending commutation of Graham’s sentence to life.
10-7 Against a stay of execution.
13-0 Against a conditional pardon.
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 & 15
(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 "ENDEAVOR"
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 & 18
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 & 21
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 Center, 1993.)
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 grievous harm.
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 1993.)
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, economically. Why?
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 claim.
"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, & 22.)
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 Skillern:
"…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 Witnesses:
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 System:
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 AND INTIMIDATION
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 15.
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 GARY GRAHAM
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 Spiers, 1981.)
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 is required.
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 of innocence.
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 Committee
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 Movement are:
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 Innocent Man";
Other fraud filled articles, publications, films or flyers; and/or if you have any additional questions, please call or write.
"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.)
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