Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ruby Session, R.I.P.

Grits offers heartfelt condolences to the family of Ruby Cole Session, whose son Timothy Cole died in a Texas prison after his wrongful rape conviction before he was posthumously pardoned by Gov. Rick Perry. Ruby passed away last Thursday. Ruby's son, Cory Session, is a colleague of mine at the Innocence Project of Texas. The Texas Legislature created the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions named after her son and has implemented five of the six major recommendations made by that group. From AP:
Ruby Cole Session, whose son was wrongly convicted and prompted her campaign to win landmark legislation in Texas, has died. She was 77.

Session lobbied Gov. Rick Perry to sign the Tim Cole Act, named for her son who was convicted of a 1985 rape and died in prison in 1999. The legislation compensates those who are wrongly convicted and spurred other reforms meant to reverse wrongful imprisonments.

DNA results prompted Perry to pardon Cole in 2010. Another man confessed to the rape of a Texas Tech student.

Session was honored earlier this year in the Texas Senate for her achievements as a criminal justice reformer and "fierce champion of the wrongly accused."

Son Cory Session says his mother died Thursday at her Fort Worth home of an aneurysm.
Her memorial service will take place on Saturday in Fort Worth. It's great that she lived to see her son exonerated and to witness the state seeking to reform the justice system in response to his and other DNA exoneration cases. The New Yorker will soon publish a feature on the Tim Cole case and its impact on the Texas justice system (Grits was interviewed for the story in August), not the least of which was the passage of the nation's most generous compensation package for Texas exonerees - legislation that also bore Tim Cole's name. Ruby's passing will make for an unhappy postscript to what otherwise has been an inspiring and triumphant tale of a family seeking posthumous justice for their wrongfully convicted loved one. She will be missed. I know she was proud that she and Cory could so effectively carry on Tim's legacy.

1 comment:

Thomas R. Griffith said...

We the people over at PNG of Texas also would like to extend our condolences and prayers to the Cole family in this time of great loss.

While there are never enough words to make this event more enduring, please allow me to offer up the following - If it's the last thing I do, it'll be to ensure the Cole family & the citizens of Texas that the 6th recommendation will be implemented and that 6 more will be addressed in 2014. Their legacy, hopes & dreams will not be in vain.

R.I.P. Mrs. Session