For eight years, Nicole Casarez worked tirelessly to seek justice for death row inmate Anthony Graves.
The Houston-based attorney and journalism professor knew that Graves had been wrongly imprisoned for murder, and she was determined to see him freed.
Finally, in 2010, after spending 18 years in prison -- 12 on them on death row -- Graves was exonerated, largely thanks to the efforts of Casarez and her students at Houston's University of St. Thomas. Several months later, he was awarded $1.4 million by the Texas Legislature for wrongful incarceration, according to ABC News.
Graves told Texas Monthly's Pamela Colloff that he's been wanting to express his immense gratitude to Casarez -- his "angel" and "sister" -- but hasn't quite known how to go about it.
“I wanted to repay Nicole but I knew she’d never accept money from me,” Graves said. “I thought about giving her an amazing trip somewhere, but I wanted to give her something that would live on.”
Finally, after consulting with Casarez's husband, Graves came up with a plan: He would establish a college scholarship in Casarez's name.
Source: The Huffington Post, October 18, 2013