Timothy Brian Cole was 26 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of rape in a Lubbock, Texas, courtroom in 1986. At the time of the rape, he was a student at Texas Tech University – Texas Tech had an enrollment of approximately 22,000 students – About 500 were African-American. Timothy was one of the 500.
Timothy died in a Texas prison on December 2, 1999, while suffering an asthma attack. At the time of his death, he had served 13 years of a 25 year sentence for a crime he did not commit. He was 39. He was finally exonerated in February of 2009. DNA evidence showed him to be innocent. He was pardoned posthumously in March of 2010.
Beth Schwartzapfel wrote a wonderful article entitled “No Country for Innocent Men” about this tragic failure of the Texas Criminal Justice System. It appears in Mother Jones. This is a must read.
To read more about Timothy’s case see The Innocence Project.