Courts & Crime

Texas first: Perry grants a posthumous pardon for Tim Cole

More than a decade after he died in prison, Fort Worth's Tim Cole — wrongly convicted of rape — finally received a pardon from the state.

Gov. Rick Perry sent out a statement saying that he gave Cole the state's first posthumous pardon, saying he was innocent of the rape conviction that put him behind bars more than 25 years ago.

"I have been looking forward to the day I could tell Tim Cole's mother that her son's name has been cleared for a crime he did not commit," Perry said in a written release. "The state of Texas cannot give back the time he spent in prison away from his loved ones, but today I was finally able to tell her we have cleared his name, and hope this brings a measure of peace to his family."

This comes days after the state Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that Perry issue the pardon.

Cole is the wrongfully convicted inmate who died in prison in 1999, at the age of 39, from complications of asthma. Last year, he was exonerated of the rape of a Texas Tech student after DNA tests cleared him of the crime. His family traveled to Austin during the regular and special legislative sessions to repeatedly ask Perry to issue the pardon.

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