NOTE:The writings posted by the Lamp of Hope Project are provided by prisoners. The Lamp of Hope Project does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of these pieces, nor do they necessarily reflect the opinion or views of any within the Lamp of Hope Project.

Case Summary


My name is Anibal CANALES – a 38 year old Mexican American, currently on Death Row. I arrived here on November 3rd 2000, after being prosecuted and sentenced to die for a crime I did not commit.

I was serving a 15-year sentence in the Texas prison system when this crime was committed. I had served 4 years by this time. In July 1997, on the Telford Unit in Now-Boston, Texas, an inmate was found dead in his cell with a broken neck and choked to death. I and 4 other inmates were charged with murder 5 days after the crime.

I was informed by TDCJ officials that it was capital because I was a member of a crime organization and that inmates saw me commit the crime, along with the others who were charged with me. The fact is that not a single correctional officer saw mw anywhere at the crime scene or around it! In fact, I lived on another area and was nowhere near the crime scene and had witnesses testify to my whereabouts at the time the crime was committed.

I had TDCJ officers testify for me on my behalf, including the correctional officers working around the crime scene, and all agreed that I was a well-known inmate and highly visible – I am a 6 foot 7 inches – 290 pounds man – and was not seen at the crime scene.

The only testimony that was against me was from inmates who I had problems with. I was condemned simply because I was a confirmed gang member who was hated by inmates, not because I was seen.

The inmate who died was white and those who testified against me are white and 3 self-admitted white supremacists.


· There was no physical evidence, no DNA, no fingerprints, so shoe prints: NOTHING!
· The crime scene was wiped and cleaned by 4 inmates who said they did in open court. 3 of which testified against me.
· Not one single guard saw me
· A letter was also submitted that supposedly I wrote to another inmate. The Sate also provided the “expert” to analyse the “note”.
· I was not given the chance to bring in another expert to examine the evidence.
· I was presented at court as a “gang member”, but that is not a reason to kill me!

I was a convenient scapegoat for those who did actually do the crime.

The Texas prison system helped the Sate convict me by setting up the road blocks that would help a district attorney (who is a “special” prosecutor who deals only with gang homicide).

They stopped me from proving my innocence

The District Attorney for Bowie County, Texas, refused to prosecute. He stated to the media that there was no cause to pursue. The State waited 3 years to seek an indictment!

I'm denied access to courts because I am a gang member, and I'm denied the chance to seek help from fellow inmates who may have witnessed the crime.



PLEASE, HELP ME so that I can prove my INNOCENCE

Polunsky Unit/999366
3872 FM 350 South
TEXAS 77351