Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Perhaps his soul can finally rest in peace...

Like many men Tim Cole was a man that was put away in prison for a crime he did not commit. Like a lot of those men Tim's name is on its way to being cleared. But unlike many of those men Tim himself will be there when the official decision comes down.

In 1985 Tim Cole was convicted of raping a Texas Tech student and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He would have been due for release in the next year or so but Tim will never see the light of day again. Tim died while in prison in 1999. It did not have to end this way. The asthma difficulties that took his life may have still done so but at least he would have been in the outside world, where innocent men should be.

There is a man by the name of Jerry Wayne Johnson who since 1995 has been claiming responsibility for the brutal crime committed against Michele Mallin. Yes go ahead note the difference. Johnson started claiming responsibility in 1995. Cole died in 1999. During that four year span Jonhson tried on at least three separate occasions to confess to the attack:
Then, in 1995, Johnson wrote a letter to the district court in Lubbock in which he confessed to raping Mallin. He got no reply. So he wrote another letter asking for an attorney so that he could legally confess. Again, he was ignored.

Johnson eventually wrote to the former Lubbock district attorney who prosecuted the case, Jim Bob Darnell, and asked for his help. There was only silence in reply. By 2007,...(It is worth mentioning that he intentionally waited until the statute of limitations passed on the rape before stepping forward).(Shoutout to Save the Poor Brown Children)
Why were Johnson's attempts at a confession ignored for four years? Where the hell was the court system that was so ready to lock Cole away when the real culprit stepped forward? And for those of you wondering "Well if he had not waited for the statute of limitaions he might of saved Tim's life!" I ask, "Four YEARS was not enough time to hear out Jerry's confession and get Tim out of prison so that if the asthma was gonna take him in 1999 he would have at least died a free man?"

To have something like this come to light during Black History month should put an exclamation point on the fact that not only did racism not magically dissappear after the initinal efforts of the Black Civil Rights movement or when Obama won his bid for the White House.

(Currently Cole's family and Michele Mallin with help from the Innocence Project of Texas are working to have Cole's name cleared. Let's hope that at least one of the who knows how many man that are wrongly in prison can have his name cleared even though he won't be there to thank those that helped him.)

Edit: Ouyang Dan points out that Renee has a post up on this stating that his name was cleared. I was a little slow on the pick up because the article link I got from the comment section of one of Glenn Sacks' posts last week said that Timothy's family was going to court to try to clear his name.

1 comment:

ouyangdan said...

I think Renee's piece on this case said he was recently cleared.