Friday, June 12, 2015

Charles Sebesta disbarred!

BREAKING: Charles Sebesta, the prosecutor who withheld exculpatory evidence at Anthony Graves' capital murder trial, has been disbarred after a private trial vs. the state bar's disciplinary counsel, reported Pam Colloff on Twitter.

Here's a copy of the judgment. See related Grits coverage.

MORE: See Pam Colloff's initial coverage from Texas Monthly. See coverage from the Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

15 comments:

Robert Langham said...

More of this kind of stuff, please. And I'd also like to see some commissions stripped from LEOs who deserve it.

Lee said...

Good Riddance!!

At an end his rule is, and not short enough it was.

bob.bennett88 said...

As the Attorney who filed the first grievance against Sebesta and thought it should have been accepted and prosecuted then, I was honored to help get the second grievance filed and in process. Anthony Graves is now further along the road to true justice against the man who tried to murder him. A Court of Inquiry should be next. It is rather ironic however the way things turn out.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see such a rare sight: Justice. I think this needs to be done against Jack Skeen and David Dobbs for their conduct in the Kerry Cook case.

The Homeless Cowboy said...

I am certainly glad to see it. It is all about conviction rates for prosecutors, it is a systemic problem. I am sure that this Sebesta fellow thinks he has been done wrong. He will not enjoy taking his own medicine.

Tscc said...

"I am in total agreement with the provisions of a bill introduced in the Texas Legislature this session that would make it a Third Degree Felony for a Prosecutor to withhold evidence favorable to a defendant on trial for an alleged felony. There is absolutely no justification or excuse for such conduct." ~ Charles Sebesta
http://charlessebesta.net

Anonymous said...

What exactly happens when an attorney is disbarred? Does the State Bar of Texas file charges? Charles Sebesta has been retired for at least a decade.

George said...

@ Tscc,

A third degree felony? Any prosecutor who intentionally withholds evidence in a felony case should face first degree felony charges. It is my view that the people who represent the law, as well as those who write and make judgements on such, should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.

When the average citizen commits a crime, perhaps violating a law that he/she was not aware of, the law enforcement's cry is "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". However, when those who know the laws inside and out violate the laws, they should be shown no mercy whatsoever and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Charles Sebesta is a disgrace to the state of Texas, is most definitely a criminal and should be thrown into the hell hole known as TDCJ, the institution that he's done more than his fair share to help fill. Perhaps then he will see another side of the criminal justice system.

tiapa said...

@tscc

Third degree felony? Graves was sentenced to death! How about first degree felony premeditated murder? Charles Sebesta broke the law in a premeditated act to have Graves put to death.

Kerry Cook said...

Thank you for still remembering my fight for justice.

Tscc said...

@9:26 and 12:21 - - - I was quoting Sebesta himself from a statement he ironically still has posted on his website. Personally, I think they should be prosecuted just as any other person who takes a life intentionally, or who causes the loss of many years of life, family and careers. In addition, they should be imprisoned with those whom they have convicted either rightfully or wrongfully, and housed with them in the general population. Nor should they be civilly immune, neither should law enforcement officials who fabricate evidence, perjure themselves or obtain evidence unlawfully.
Prosecutors have the upper hand from the very beginning, they have complete discretion when to charge and for what. If they want an indictment, they're going to get one, and once they get the indictment, they have to win or their conviction rate goes down and that is bad politics, which is why having DA's and judges be elected officials is so problematic. Every DA or judge runs on a platform of "tough on crime". How are you tough on crime? By lots of convictions, justice be damned.

Here is a great excerpt from the Center for Prosecutorial Integrity's white paper entitled, "An Epidemic of Prosecutorial Misconduct"

Culture of Prosecutorial Infallibility

"Prosecutors are subjected to a variety of powerful incentives that serve to reward zealous advocacy: the gratitude of victims, favorable media coverage, career promotions, appointment to judgeships, and the allure of high political office.
The most insidious incentive of all may be a culture of prosecutorial infallibility. This mindset gives rise to practices that can only be termed bizarre, such as prosecutors who reportedly wear neckties decorated with images of nooses or who throw a party after “winning” a death sentence. One prosecutor inquired of candidates for employment if previous experiences in the law had provided them with a chance to “taste blood.” The prosecutor revealed he only intended to hire trial lawyers who had already “tasted blood” and liked it.
In Louisiana, ADA James Williams once admitted, “There was no thrill for me unless there was a chance for the death penalty.” Williams reputedly kept a miniature electric chair on his desk, wired to a battery to deliver a jolt to anyone who might doubt his intentions."

So I'm with you, Felony 3... No.

Kerry Cook said...

The only thing missing from this occurance is a similiar Texas State Bar finding against former Smith County District Attorneys A.D. Clatk, III, Jack Skeen (A.D. Clark, III and Jack Skeen are first-cousins), and former Chief Felony prosecutor David E. Dobbs.

Together these Smith County officials created what national legal scholars have termed "The worst documented example of prosecutorial misconduct in Texas history (see Kerry Cook Memoir, CHASING JUSTICE."

I have been fighting tooth & nail for similar justice behind the scenes for 38 years.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Kerry, (myself, 31 years and counting)

If anyone tells you to let it go, tell them to 'GFY'. If you let it go, I'll be the first to remind you that - it's not about you, it's not about me, it's about all of us, always has been, always will be. The victims of the system, salute you for taking a stand and for choosing to chase the justice denied.

*May that POS - C.S. drown in the sweat of a thousand camels.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I echo: "It's nice to see such a rare sight: Justice. I think this needs to be done against Jack Skeen and David Dobbs for their conduct in the Kerry Cook case. The only thing missing from this occurrence is a similar Texas State Bar finding against former Smith County District Attorneys A.D. Clark, III, Jack Skeen (A.D. Clark, III and Jack Skeen are first-cousins), and former Chief Felony prosecutor David E. Dobbs." and

Together these Smith County officials created what national legal scholars have termed "The worst documented example of prosecutorial misconduct in Texas history (see Kerry Cook Memoir, CHASING JUSTICE."
May I add:
They also need to go to prison.

Jim said...

Saw an article from Burlseon County that Mr. Sebesta at least on his website is fighting the Grievance committee action taking his license. Does anyone know if he has filed an appeal to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals?