Meanwhile, at Texas Tech a scholarship has been established in Timothy Cole's name by two former employers who I respect a lot:
One of the most infamous days in the history of the Texas judicial system occurred 10 years ago today. Timothy Cole died an innocent man in a Texas prison cell.
An Army veteran and college student who was pursuing the American dream ended up living — and dying — an American nightmare.
This year, he became the first person to be posthumously exonerated, thanks to state District Judge Charlie Baird.
In many of the letters Tim wrote from prison after being convicted of a rape he didn’t commit, he mentioned three things that he longed for — vindication, exoneration and a full pardon from the governor.
The quest for the pardon continues.
On July 1, 2009, Tim’s 49th birthday, Gov. Rick Perry said that he does not have the power to pardon the dead. Perry said he needed a constitutional amendment because of a several-decades-old opinion from former state Attorney General Waggoner Carr that prevents him from doing so. We await a modern opinion from the current attorney general, Greg Abbott. ...
There is an epidemic in our state and it is not H1N1. It is Texas’ addiction to conviction. Some of the powers that be must get a vaccination of common sense to help break their habit. The law of parties, in which an accomplice to a murder can be executed even though he didn’t kill the victim in the case, should not be the law of a political party to show that one is tough on crime. ...
The "Eyes of Texas" are upon itself. It is the duty of the governor to pardon those who have been wrongfully convicted whether they are dead or alive and fulfill the final words of the pledge: "liberty and justice for all."
In related news, Travis County District Judge Charlie Baird who issued Timothy Cole the state's first-ever posthumous exoneration, announced he will retire from the bench and not seek re-election next year, opening up another empty seat among the Travis County district judges. Baird had called the Timothy Cole exoneration the "most important decision" of his judicial career.
Jeff Blackburn, a director of the Innocence Project of Texas, and Kevin Glasheen, who has represented about a dozen wrongly convicted Texans, will donate $100,000 to create an endowment named for Timothy Brian Cole.
“Tim’s story was an inspiration to a lot of us who worked on these issues — on compensation for the wrongfully convicted,” Glasheen said. “His case is so tragic because it’s too late to do anything for Tim, other than to honor his memory, and so we’re trying to honor his memory as a way of doing something for him.”