A Texas district court judge Friday reversed the conviction of a man who died in prison nearly a decade ago, almost two decades into a prison sentence for a rape he swore he did not commit, CNN affiliate KXAN reported.
... Then a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Mallin was walking to her car, intending to move it to another parking lot, when a man approached her asking about jumper cables, she said. In a matter of seconds, he put her in a choke hold and held a knife to her neck. He forced himself into her car and drove her to the outskirts of town, where he raped her.
... Cole, like Mallin, was a student at Texas Tech. He had finished two years of college previously and was returning to school after spending two years in the Army, his brother said.
But his dreams of getting married and having children never materialized. He was arrested and charged with Mallin's rape, declining a plea bargain offer that would have put him on probation. A jury convicted him and imposed a 25-year sentence.
That night, "he hugged my mother and he said, 'Mother, why these people lie on me, why they do this to me?'" Cole's brother Reggie Session recounted for the Avalanche-Journal, which published a three-part series on the case in June.
"He said, 'They know I ain't done nothing to that girl. I don't even know that girl. Why they do this to me, mother?' ... He cried in my mother's arms on the floor."
Reading the article, it seems there were many hints indicating against it being Cole. He had asthma and never smoked, but the rapist was a heavy smoker. Cole's lawyer even suspected who the real rapist was, and tried to make a case for it.
Now everyone -- Cole's family, the victim, even the real rapist -- is working together to clear Cole's name. I'm sure it's cathartic, and should be done, but it's so little consolation.