Today marks the second anniversary of Orlando Boquete’s exoneration in Florida. Boquete spent 12 years behind bars for a sexual assault he didn’t commit – as well as another ten years as a fugitive after he escaped from prison.
From the New York Times magazine:
On June 25 (1982), with the summer heat at full blast, (Boquete) had a cousin shave his head of thick black hair, leaving only a mustache. That night, various Boquetes later testified, they sat in the trailer, watching baseball and the World Cup from Spain. Afterward, they strolled to a Tom Thumb convenience store for cigarettes and beer. As they approached, police officers asked them to wait in the parking lot. Another police car pulled up. Inside was a woman who had awoken from a sound sleep in her bed in the Stock Island apartments, a few blocks away, to find a man on top of her. He ejaculated on her bedclothes. He had no hair on his face, she said, and a buzz cut on his head. Another man lurked in the apartment with him, she said, but had not taken part in the assault. They grabbed a few items and left.
From the police car, the victim saw Orlando Boquete and told the officer, “That’s him.” Although he had a prominent mustache, he was the only person in the vicinity with a shaved head. That single glimpse shaped Boquete’s life for decades.
Other exoneration anniversaries this week:
, New York (Served 10.5 years, Exonerated 05/19/03)
, Massachusetts (Served 7 years, Exonerated 05/23/97)
, Oklahoma (Served 13 years, Exonerated 05/24/96)