Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Statue Raised to Innocent Man Who Died Imprisoned

In Lubbock, Texas, a statue has been raised honoring Timothy Cole, a nonsmoker who was convicted of an aggravated sexual assault committed by a smoker.  Cole died in prison years after the real perpetrator, Jerry Wayne Johnson, wrote prosecutors to confess he'd committed the assault.  Johnson had heard Cole weeping in a nearby holding cell, but didn't risk confessing until the statute of limitations had run.  The Lubbock County prosecutor who procured the erroneous conviction sent no response to Johnson's letters, and Cole died in prison without ever learning the guilty man had confessed.  Cole died in prison of a severe asthma his family believed would have been better treated in the free world, – treatment that would have extended his life.  Cole's asthma was one reason he never smoked.

Cole had been offered parole if he confessed to the assault, but refused to lie to be set free.  He encouraged his sister to stick with her law school plans, saying he believed in the justice system even if it didn't believe in him.

There are no words.

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