As the Chronicle's Harvey Rice reports, the Texas Attorney General's Office also is garnisheeing $175 a month from the former inmate's salary as a legal investigator for nearly $5,500 the state claims he owes in back child support while he was behind bars.
The state also seized a $250 honorarium that Graves was to be paid for a presentation to political science students at Prairie View A&M University about his prison ordeal.
"The state of Texas tried to kill me for something I didn't do, and now they are trying to get child support out of me," Graves told Rice. "I feel powerless."
According to a spokesperson for Attorney General Greg Abbott, because a judge ordered then-prisoner Graves to pay the child support in 2002, the AG's office has a legal obligation to collect the money. He did express sympathy for Graves, adding, "his experience is truly troubling and deeply compelling."
Obviously not troubling or compelling enough for the governor, the comptroller and the attorney general to get their heads together and try to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and remedy the continuing effects of a truly horrible miscarriage of justice.
The state took away Graves' freedom for much of his adult life, dismissed on a technicality the compensation owed him by law, and now bills him for the consequences of his wrongful imprisonment. It's a truly sickening situation.
Where there's a will to right an injustice, the most powerful officials in the state must find a way. If they had real sympathy for what this man has suffered, they'd promptly set things right.
MORE: From Lisa Falkenberg at the Chronicle.