Producer to Producer: The Anthony Graves case

48 Hours producers Paul LaRosa and Jenna Jackson chat about her recent show, "Grave Injustice"

(CBS) "48 Hours Mystery" producer Paul LaRosa questions fellow producer Jenna Jackson about her recent "48 Hours" broadcast on Anthony Graves - a Texas man wrongly convicted and sent to death row. Graves has since been exonerated, but due to a technicality in the wording of his release papers, Texas is refusing to compensate him the $1.4 million he is entitled to for wrongful incarceration.

How long have you been working on this story? This story seems to have taken a long time to report.

We started working on this story about a year and a half ago - and started filming in September, just a few weeks before Anthony Graves walked out of prison a free man. And once he walked out, we were filming on nearly a daily basis with the people involved.

Biggest question for viewers: What is the legal wording that's holding up Anthony Graves' compensation and why will the authorities not give this man what he's due?

The two words "actual innocence" weren't included in his dismissal papers. It seems like it was an oversight to begin with - the prosecutors were eager to file the papers and get Graves out of jail as quickly as possible and didn't realize that those two words needed to be included. However, the elected district attorney, Bill Parham, has since declined to redo the paperwork and add in those two words. He says because there isn't concrete evidence - like DNA - to prove Graves' innocence, he can't add those two words. (There was never any DNA to indicate his guilt, either, but Parham says he doesn't want to be the one to set a new precedent with this case.) He says that it's up to the Texas Legislature to fix the wording of the law and get Graves his compensation.

Students help free wrongfully convicted man
Two words cost innocent man $1.4 million

Can anything be done to the original prosecutor Charles Sebesta to hold him to account for this prosecution?

Graves' lawyers filed a complaint with the State Bar of Texas seeking disciplinary action against Sebesta, but the State Bar dismissed it. And attorney Kelly Siegler says the statute of limitations has run out on any potential criminal charges that could have been considered.

Has it been difficult for Anthony Graves to reconnect with his sons, given that so much time has gone by?

I think Graves is having a hard time reconnecting with everything in his old life - his sons have grown up without him, and the entire world has changed. But surprisingly, he is doing better than I think any of us could - he is not bitter. He is very focused on moving forward and reintegrating into this new world. His family is very supportive - and so are the people who have been in contact with him during the last several years. He has a job, working for well-known Texas attorney David Dow, who specializes in Death Row cases.

Little was said about Graves' original defense lawyer. Is he still alive and did he have anything to say about the case?

He had two original trial attorneys, Calvin Garvie and Lydia Clay-Jackson, who worked together. Lydia did not want to talk to us. Calvin spoke to us on the phone, but we did not do an on-camera interview with him. He told the Texas Monthly reporter that Sebesta never told him that Carter said he acted alone, though Sebesta insists he did. Garvie also testified to this to a federal court in 2004 - that Sebesta never disclosed the exculpatory evidence - and the court that threw out Graves' conviction believed Garvie's testimony.

How has Graves been able to maintain such a calm disposition after all these years in prison? Did he describe what prison was like for him. Did he do anything special there?

We did talk to him quite a bit about that because it's so unusual to see a man who has spent 18 years behind bars who is not ruined by it. I've seen people over the years who may have gone in innocent - but they come out institutionalized. Graves somehow survived without this happening. He says one of the things he would do when he got stressed by the prison environment was sing to himself in his cell. His favorite song was an old soulful song called "A Change is Gonna Come," by Sam Cooke.

How are Graves and his old friend, Roy Rueter, getting along now that Graves is a free man? Are they still in touch or has too much gone on for them to be friends any longer?

They are in contact and are getting past this. Graves has forgiven Rueter and is moving forward with his life. He has said he believes Rueter was just another pawn in this criminal justice game.

A lot of our viewers are asking if there's a particular place that supporters of Anthony Graves can write to in Texas to push for his wrongful conviction compensation?

They can contact the office of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and/or Texas Attorney General, Gregg Abbott.