Media Advisory
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
August 22, 2006
Contact: Margaret Justus (713) 236-0306

Senator Ellis to Host Fundraiser for Former Exonoree Anthony Robinson

What: Fundraiser for Anthony Robinson
Who: Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
When: Thursday, August 22, 2006. 5:00p.m.
Where: 440 Louisiana, suite 575, Houston, TX 77002

Houston -- Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) will host a fundraiser on Thursday, August 22, 2006, at 5:00 p.m. at 440 Louisiana, Suite 575, to raise funds to assist Anthony Robinson's effort to earn an L.LM in Chinese Law at the Tsinghua University's School of Law in Beijing.

Anthony Robinson was wrongfully convicted of a rape on the University of Houston campus in 1986. He spent a decade behind bars before he was released and able to prove his innocence. An honorably discharged Army veteran, he was arrested while picking up his friend's car on campus. At the time of his arrest, Anthony had recently graduated from Pomona College with a sociology degree and was planning to go to law school. Anthony always maintained his innocence and continually asked for DNA tests to be conducted. He spent a decade of a 27-year sentence in prison for a rape he did not commit.

After his release on parole in November 1996, Anthony saved up for three years to pay for a DNA test and retain a lawyer. Once he got the DNA test, it completely exonerated him, and Anthony was pardoned by then Governor George W. Bush.

Senator Ellis and other Houston area attorneys raised funds to help Robinson pursue his dream of attending law school in 2001 after learning of Robinson's story. Robinson successfully received his law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2004.

Robinson also helped Ellis to spearhead the effort to pass legislation in 2001 to increase the amount of compensation available for the wrongfully convicted in Texas from a total of $25,000 to $25,000/year of incarceration with a cap of $500,000. Robinson and Senator Ellis plan to push to further increase compensation at the state level for the wrongfully convicted to match the $50,000/year, and $100,000/year for time on death row, with no cap, available under the 2004 Federal Justice For All Act in the upcoming legislative session.