Governor Rick Perry Can Pardon Inmate Exonerated Posthumously
By DNA Evidence
Tim Cole died in prison in 1999 while serving a sentence for a rape he didn't commit. Tim Cole died in prison in 1999 while serving a sentence for a rape he didn't commit. DALLAS (January 7, 2010)--Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Thursday Gov. Rick Perry can pardon a wrongly convicted man who was cleared of rape nearly a decade after he died in prison. Abbott issued an opinion about posthumous pardons Thursday that clears the way for Perry to pardon Tim Cole, an Army veteran who died in prison in 1999 at age 38. Cole was wrongly convicted of the rape in 1985 of a Texas Tech University student. In 2008, a DNA test proved his innocence, 13 years after another man confessed to the rape in a series of letters to Lubbock County prosecutors and judges. Cole's family was seeking the pardon. Perry, although he expressed sympathy, maintained he didn't believe he was legally permitted to issue one. Cole's brother told The Associated Press that an aide to the governor says Perry will pardon Cole in light of Abbott’s opinion.