Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Statement from Attorney General John Cornyn regarding the execution of Gary Graham Scheduled for June 22:

"The people of Texas can be assured that Gary Graham is guilty of capital murder and that he has received the due process our American system guarantees. The incredible brutality and raw violence of Gary Graham forever will haunt the memories of Texans. The capital murder of Bobby Lambert started Gary Graham's rampage of crime in 1981. During the period May 14 through May 20 of that year, Gary Graham robbed some 13 different victims at nine different locations, in each instance leveling either a pistol or a sawed-off shotgun on the victim. Two of the victims were pistol-whipped, one being shot in the neck; a 64-year old male victim was struck with the vehicle Graham was stealing from him; and a 57-year old female victim was kidnapped and raped.

"Not even Gary Graham can cast doubt on these crimes: he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced to 20-year concurrent prison sentences for 10 different aggravated robberies committed May 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20, 1981. During the armed robbery of one victim, Richard B. Sanford, Gary Graham boasted of having killed six other people already.

"The only crime for which he claims to be falsely convicted is the murder of Bobby Lambert. In 1981, Gary Graham was convicted by a Harris County jury which concluded that "beyond a reasonable doubt" he was guilty of capital murder based on eyewitness testimony. Then in the sentencing phase of his trial, the jury heard evidence of Gary Graham's violent criminal history and sentenced him to death for the murder of Mr. Lambert.

"Gary Graham has repeatedly put forth the names of alleged new witnesses who either purport to provide an alibi for Graham or allege he was not the shooter. Evidence from all such witnesses that Gary Graham has produced since the trial, years afterward, has been considered by the courts and found to be not credible.

"Both state and federal courts have been involved in hearing and reviewing his case. Gary Graham has had at least 20 appeals and his claims have been heard and rejected by at least 33 different judges.

"Each death penalty case in Texas receives the highest degree of scrutiny in our criminal justice system and the attention given Gary Graham's case in state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, demonstrates that his constitutional rights have been respected. This has been a long, extensive process with proper deliberation by the courts.

"Gary Graham is not the innocent victim in this case, he is the convicted murderer. For 19 years, Graham's victims and their families have had to live with the consequences of his crimes. It is now time for them to have the closure and the justice our system provides."

- 30 -

Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050