A 500-page report released by the Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Team Wednesday outlines ways Texas can better avoid putting innocent people on death row. Their findings are based on two years of research.
Texas executes more people than any other state, but when compared to the best practices of other states that use the death penalty, the system doesn't measure up.
"Unfortunately what we found, time and time again, is that Texas fell short," Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Paul Coggins said.
Former Governor Mark White says injustices, especially those involving the ultimate punishment, can be avoided with new reforms.
"We need to modernize the system,” White said. “Because of the irreversibility of the death penalty, we need to be more cautious there than anywhere else in our criminal justice system, and not let any possibility of error get into that system."
Enhancing defense services, jury instructions and only allowing scientifically reliable evidence to be considered in capital cases.
Formerly on death row, Anthony Graves calls himself living proof that the system is flawed.
"I had two execution dates,” Graves said. “I was almost murdered by the state of Texas. Had this been in place, you probably wouldn't even know my name today."
Graves spent 18 years in prison, 12 of which were spent on death row. He was exonerated after a fifth circuit court said the prosecutor intentionally withheld evidence that could have helped his case.
Since then, Graves has been working to prevent future cases like his.
"If you are serious about justice in our state, then you will read this and you will implement this and you will stand up for justice for us as a society," he said.
Some of the reforms within the report would require legislative action, but some changes could be made by district attorneys. A letter and copy of the report has been sent to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, urging him to look over their findings.