By Henry Ehrlich
In 1985, a Lubbock, Texas college student named Timothy Cole was convicted of rape and sentenced to 25 years in jail. The rape victim’s testimony included a crucial detail that seems to have been overlooked by prosecutors: the perpetrator smoked cigarettes throughout the attack, according to the Innocence Project website. Cole himself—at the time a 26-year-old Army veteran–and people who knew him said that he never smoked because he had asthma. In years to come, Cole refused any leniency offered by the State of Texas that would include admission of a crime he didn’t commitment, and after 14 years, in 1999, Cole died behind bars from “heart complications related to his asthma.” Another inmate who was serving a life sentence for other crimes subsequently confessed to the crime in 2002 after the statue of limitations had lapsed, and DNA analysis confirmed it.
The State of Texas has now passed the Tim Cole Act to compensate wrongfully convicted inmates for each year of incarceration, and now a statue has been erected in his memory in Lubbock across the street from the Texas Tech campus in an area designated Tim Cole Memorial Park.
Photo by http://www.tv2.no/nyheter/utenriks/frikjent-for-voldtekt-elleve-aar-etter-sin-doed-3707294.html