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Sunday, October 20, 2013

He was innocent, and she believed him.

For the rest of his days, Anthony Graves will never forget Nicole Casarez. 

Graves was on death row in Texas, convicted of being an accomplice to the murder of a woman, her daughter and several of her grandchildren. Anthony swore he was not involved in the crime. The actual murderer, who had initially indicated Anthony had taken part, later recanted multiple times, including on the day of his execution.

Attorney -- and journalism professor -- Nicole Casarez believed Anthony and was determined to see him exonerated. She along with students fome her class at the University of St Thomas worked tirelessly to bring Anthony justice.

Finally in 2010, and after 18 years behind bars, Anthony Graves was a free man.

The story doesn't end there. Anthony was determined to repay Nicole for her dedication, but knew it had to be something special, "I wanted to repay Nicole but I knew she’d never accept money from me," Anthony says, "I thought about giving her an amazing trip somewhere, but I wanted to give her something that would live on."

Instead, Anthony established a college scholarship in Nicole's honor at the University of Texas Law School, which he presented to her at a dinner party.

Back in 2011, Nicole said Anthony's exoneration was proof that we should "never underestimate the power of dedicated people working for good."

Applause to Anthony for his tribute, and gratitude to Nicole and her students for remembering that Everyone Matters

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