Texas Court Finally Clears Man of Rape . . . . Ten Years After He Died in Prison

image_8396603You would think that Timothy Cole would be a happy man. Texas State District Judge Charles Baird has expunged his conviction of a 1985 rape in Lubbock, Texas of Texas Tech University student Michele Mallin. The problem is that he died in prison ten years ago.

DNA tests in 2008 show that the real attacker was Jerry Wayne Johnson, who is serving life in prison for separate rapes.
Cole’s family is asking Gov. Rick Perry to also issue a formal pardon. What they should also demand is mandatory DNA testing in all felony cases and availability of such testing for all previously convicted individuals. Prosecutors still resist such demands and the Supreme Court this month will hear a case where they may reverse the Ninth Circuit decision in District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, Docket No. 08-6– requiring the Alaska to give a convicted rapist DNA testing.

Mallin identified Cole as her attacker at the trial. He refused to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was then denied parole because he refused to admit that he was a rapist. Mallin blames Lubbock police and prosecutors who she said convinced her that Cole was the man.

Once again, there has not been a general call in Texas for answers from the prosecutors or police in this tragedy. Some false convictions are inevitable, but many are the result of a lack of police work or blind prosecution. Yet, it is very rare that there is any serious investigation in such cases. The District Attorney’s Office in Lubbock notably did not participate in the hearing to exonerate Cole.

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7 thoughts on “Texas Court Finally Clears Man of Rape . . . . Ten Years After He Died in Prison”

  1. I recall a couple of years ago, someone tallied all the overturned rape convictions from DNA testing. Up to that point it was running about 30%.

    This means 3 out of every 10 rapists in prison are probably innocent, being punished for someone else’s crime. Why are prosecutors so resistant to this? Are they too busy with the new cases and don’t want to bother? Or do they fear that opening these cases would allow other criminals to get out based on less dependable evidence?

    In any case, I can only be relieved that I haven’t been fasely accused…yet.

  2. Loon Start, Loon Star, both work. Quite an ironic typo from a poster named Janus.

  3. What can I say? It is, after all,the Loon Start State.

    A couple of exemplars will tell you something about the dedication of its Republican sycophants. Both Alberto Gonalez, a half-goofy lackey as Attorney General for Puppet Bush, and Senator John Cornyn, an ultra-rightwing Stooge who adores Plutocrats, are former Supreme Court Justices in that raunchy State. Cornyn, just re-elected will burden the Country with his presence in the Senate for six long years doing what is necessary to carry on the rancid behavior of Phil Gramm toward keeping Wall Street fatcats comfortable and extraordinarily wealthy.

  4. As a fan of Kerouac I’ve gone on the road cross country 6 times. Never once did I go to Texas. I agree strongly with Buddha & Rafflaw.
    Texas is a feudal state, ruled by/for the rich that ranks near the bottom in most quality of life standards. It leads the nation in executions and prides itself in a know-nothing judicial system. While
    it is true that Austin and San Antonio have a lot of good people, overall the State is in the grip of a self proclaimed/perpetuating aristocracy of people who sneer at the needs of their fellow citizens. Look at their two senators and governor to understand the
    support of political slime by the “haves and have mores.”

    That they have produced Willie, Waylon and Bob Wills is not a credit to the state but to the randomness of genetics. Bad place. Awful politics. High religious hypocrisy. Gun toting believers in a mythology of the “cowboy way” that never existed except in the minds of Bill Cody and the following generations of misled script writers.

  5. Buddha,
    I agree. I refuse to go to Texas due to the horrendous record they have in treating defendants. They have a “hang em first and ask questions later” mentality and it showed in their favorite son, George W. Bush.

  6. Texas.

    Where everything is bigger.

    Except justice.


    Where people still respect the courts for what exactly?

    Oh, that’s FEAR and LOATHING, not RESPECT and HONOR, isn’t it?

    Those emotions? They don’t lead to the same place. One day Texas is going to learn that the hard way. REAL hard given the nature of those in governance, I suspect.

    I don’t go to Texas anymore for anything except changing planes. I won’t do business with companies based in Texas nor will I buy Texas branded products. I’d encourage anyone to do the same. Why risk exposure to an obviously broken “justice” system? Why spend dollars in a state that brings you Bush Co., Big Oil and THIS kind of “justice”?

    You shouldn’t. Starve the beast.

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