“There is only silence. Silence creeps up on you. It gets louder and louder until it screams. How can you stay sane?”—Anthony Graves
Anthony Graves spent 18 and a half years on death row before his last day. Anthony Graves is innocent.
Yes, “is.” Anthony Graves was not put to death by the state for a crime he did not commit. He was set free, and while the system corrected itself, justice was most certainly not done. As Martin Luther King wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
Justice is still denied to the many innocent people serving time on death row for the sins of others. Justice will be forever denied to those who have already perished. Justice cannot be done so long as the death penalty unfairly targets certain racial groups. Justice will not be done until the death penalty is itself denied.
Amnesty International strives to raise awareness of the injustice of the death penalty and other violation of human rights. Quoting facts and waving statistics doesn’t penetrate the clutter, but one man’s story of justice miscarried may hit harder than the dark fates of faceless victims of state cruelty.