In 1986, a Texas court convicted Timothy Brian Cole, a black man, of raping Michele Mallin, then a 24-year-old white coed at Texas Tech University in Lubbock,...He and Mallin did not know each other.
According to records obtained in 2008 by the local paper, Mallin had identified Cole as her attacker during a line-up,...Cole maintained his innocence throughout, and while imprisoned, refused parole in exchange for admitting guilt.
In 1999, Cole, a lifelong asthmatic, died in prison. A decade later, and more than 15 years after the true assailant initially confessed to Mallin’s rape,...Cole became the first man in Texas history to receive a posthumous exoneration,...the state also passed the Timothy Cole Act to provide wrongfully convicted people with $80,000 for each year of their incarceration plus reentry services. It also set up an investigative panel, the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions. For its part, Texas Tech established a scholarship in his name,...And ,...the city will unveil a life-sized bronze statue of Tim Cole and rededicate a park in his memory, establishing perhaps the first public memorial in the United States to a wrongfully convicted man.