Clarence Brandley, who spent nearly ten years on Death Row for a murder he did not commit, will be back in the news today.
He and supporters are holding a press conference this afternoon to push for restitution from the state for being wrongly imprisoned. Like Anthony Graves, another Texan who spent time in prison for a murder he did not commit, Brandley is being denied compensation because the court order freeing him does not include language declaring him innocent.
"This is a righteous cause to bring justice and have it work the way it is supposed to work," said his brother, Ozell Brandley. "We will hold those public officials accountable for their actions of refusing compensation for those who were wrongfully imprisoned. Their careers should be over if they cannot dispense justice. My brother Clarence and the families of the wrongfully convicted as well as the victims' families deserve more. Clarence and my family have paid a high price for their injustice."
Brandley was convicted for the 1980 rape and murder of a 16-year-old student at the Conroe school where he worked as a janitor. He was freed in 1990.
The judge who heard his plea for exoneration famously said, ""In the thirty years that this court has presided over matters in the judicial system, no case has presented a more shocking scenario of the effects of racial prejudice, perjured testimony, witness intimidation (and) an investigation the outcome of which has been predetermined."
The case became the subject of a made-for-cable movie.
Brandley has faced issues with child support since his release, and has lost a huge lawsuit he filed against various state agencies.
At today's press conference, organizers say, "Representatives of civil rights and community organizations, including Witness to Innocence, the National Black United Front, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, and others will be present Wednesday in support of Brandley's claim for compensation."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.