It was a decade after Timothy Cole died in prison before he was finally exonerated.
A new book, entitled
“A Plea for Justice: The Timothy Cole Story,”
by Fred B. McKinley, tells the story of Cole’s wrongful conviction and the first posthumous pardon in Texas history. Cole was sentenced to 25 years for rape more than two decades ago and died in prison in 1999, at the age of 39. Last year, DNA testing proved his innocence, and he was posthumously pardoned on March 1.
In the book, McKinley, a retired criminal investigator with the Attorney General’s office in Louisiana, details how the young Army veteran was wrongfully convicted based on eyewitness misidentification from the victim and unvalidated forensic science from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
It also reveals the long and difficult road of post-conviction appeals up to Cole’s exoneration and eventual pardon 25 years later.
The foreword is written by Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel of the
Innocence Project of Texas