That was fine for the State of Texas- it has certainly killed people with less evidence than that. The problem was that Carter began recanting his story and told prosecutors that he would tell the jury in Mr. Graves’s trial that Mr. Graves was innocent. That was the sort of thing that might ruin a perfectly good execution, so the state responded by sweating Carter the night before trial and threatening to make him testify against his wife. After several hours of this kind of "trial preparation", Carter agreed to tell the State’s version of what happened. He did so the next day. Prosecutors covered up what had happened with the recantations and threats- evidence vital to the defense- and got their conviction and death penalty. Mr. Graves went off to death row.
Someday they might get convinced that it is better to be honest than to look good. Until then, the rest of us are going to have to be honest for them. Ms. Colloff’s article is a good example of the power that comes from telling the truth.