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Old 02-07-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
 
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Default This Is Why I'm Opposed To The Death Penalty

This is so sad. He was not on death row, but this is why I'm opposed to the death penalty. The justice system does make mistakes. People shouldn't have to pay for it with their lives.

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Judge clears dead Texas man of rape conviction



A man who died in prison while serving time for a rape he didn't commit was cleared Friday by a judge who called the state's first posthumous DNA exoneration "the saddest case" he'd ever seen.

State District Judge Charles Baird ordered Timothy Cole's record expunged.
Cole was convicted of raping a Texas Tech University student in Lubbock in 1985 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He died in 1999 at age 39 from asthma complications.

DNA tests in 2008 connected the crime to Jerry Wayne Johnson, who is serving life in prison for separate rapes. Johnson testified in court Friday that he was the rapist in Cole's case and asked the victim and Cole's family to forgive him.

"I'm responsible for all this. I'm truly sorry for my pathetic behavior and selfishness. I hope and pray you will forgive me," Johnson said.
The Innocence Project of Texas said Cole's case was the first posthumous DNA exoneration in state history.

"I have his name," Cole's mother, Ruby Cole Session, said after the hearing. "That's what I wanted."

Cole and his relatives for years claimed he was innocent, but no one believed them until evidence from the original rape kit was tested for DNA. Cole had refused to plead guilty before trial in exchange for probation, and while in prison, he refused to admit to the crime when it could have earned him release on parole.

The Innocence Project pressed for a hearing to start the process of clearing Cole's name. Cole's family now wants Gov. Rick Perry to issue a formal pardon.

Michele Mallin, the rape victim in the case who originally identified Cole as her attacker, said she felt guilty that the wrong man went to prison. The Associated Press does not typically identify rape victims but Mallin, now 44, has come forward publicly to help clear Cole's name.

Confronting Johnson after his testimony, Mallin told him she was "going to try to forgive you, but it's going to take a long hard time. ... No woman deserves it. No person deserves what that man got. He could have been a father, he could have been a grandfather right now."

Mallin picked Cole out of a photo lineup that included at least six other pictures. All were standard jail mug shots except for Cole's photo, which was a Polaroid. Mallin later identified Cole in a live lineup and again at trial.

She said Lubbock officials had portrayed Cole as a violent criminal and a thug while investigating her case. The Lubbock County district attorney's office did not participate in the hearing.

Gary Wells, an Iowa State University professor and expert in witness testimony, said Friday that improperly conducted lineups could be manipulated and that witnesses tend to select the person who looks most like the perpetrator.

"If the real perpetrator is not in the lineup, it's a horrible strategy," Wells said.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Cole had refused to plead guilty before trial in exchange for probation, and while in prison, he refused to admit to the crime when it could have earned him release on parole.
This is horrible. I always wonder what I would do in that type of situation. You want to believe the justice system works and that you'll be found not guilty. Poor man.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #3
 
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It's a flawed system run by flawed humans and there will be errors.

Of course there should be no death penalty. It's an archaic system and someday we will look back at it and shake our heads.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
 
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I'm glad for his family. It's cases like this that made (make?) me somewhat jaded when those guys from Duke were falsely accused. It was horrible, but let's face it, many guys get a whole lot worse than those guys did.

I still support the death penalty but only when DNA tests have been included in the trial.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
 
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The state of Texas has a LONG history of railroading innocent people...black men in particular...into either pleding guilty to a crime they didn't commit or of creating a shame case based on little evidence and convicting an innocent man and sending him to his death. I often wonder how the police and district attorneys can sleep at night after they find out that they have the blood of innocent people on thier hands.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by wild~hair View Post
It's a flawed system run by flawed humans and there will be errors.

Of course there should be no death penalty. It's an archaic system and someday we will look back at it and shake our heads.
Pretty much. One innocent person put to dealth is one too many and not a chance I think we as a country should be willing to take.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
 
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That's one reason I oppose it. But really killing is just wrong. Period. Even if it's the gubmint doing it.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
 
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I read about this too.

I wonder if the family will be suing the state.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #9
 
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I'm curious how many of you anti-death penalty curlies feel the injustice of abortion is equal to or worse than Capitol Punishment. BTW I am against both, but since you were talking about the blood of innocents...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488644,00.html

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Old 02-09-2009, 12:46 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown View Post
The state of Texas has a LONG history of railroading innocent people...black men in particular...into either pleding guilty to a crime they didn't commit or of creating a shame case based on little evidence and convicting an innocent man and sending him to his death. I often wonder how the police and district attorneys can sleep at night after they find out that they have the blood of innocent people on their hands.
Even in progressive states, it happens. Just a few weeks ago, a young man here in Washington was released from jail, where he had been awaiting trial for murder for a year. An eyewitness pegged him as the perpetrator in a bus stop shooting. There was even a surveillance video of the shooter, and they assumed it was this guy because it was a black guy, even though the video was very fuzzy. They finally proved it wasn't him by measuring the suspect's head and comparing it to the size of the shooter's head. Nope, not the same guy.

People forget or don't realize that eyewitness testimony is often the most unreliable evidence of all.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:26 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
I'm curious how many of you anti-death penalty curlies feel the injustice of abortion is equal to or worse than Capitol Punishment. BTW I am against both, but since you were talking about the blood of innocents...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488644,00.html
I'm pro-choice and anti-dealth penalty. For ME, it's comparing apples and oranges. Also, i'm not only against the death penalty b/c an innocent person may be put to dealth.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:48 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
I'm curious how many of you anti-death penalty curlies feel the injustice of abortion is equal to or worse than Capitol Punishment. BTW I am against both, but since you were talking about the blood of innocents...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488644,00.html
Pro-choice, anti-death penalty.

Fetus = potential life until 24 weeks (and after that can't be aborted unless danger to life/health of mother)

Convincted criminal = ACTUAL life, not potential
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:44 PM   #13
 
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Another pro-choice, anti-death penalty.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #14
 
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Its interesting to me that more liberal minded people are pro-abortion/anti-death penalty and more conservative minded people are anti-abortion/pro-death penalty. I'm pro life across the board. To me killing is killing and its wrong no matter what the circumstances.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #15
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Cole had refused to plead guilty before trial in exchange for probation, and while in prison, he refused to admit to the crime when it could have earned him release on parole.
This is horrible. I always wonder what I would do in that type of situation. You want to believe the justice system works and that you'll be found not guilty. Poor man.
Yep...my bro is in the situation right now.
Do you take the plea even if you are not guitly?
You have to have much faith in your attny, that's for sure...
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
I'm curious how many of you anti-death penalty curlies feel the injustice of abortion is equal to or worse than Capitol Punishment. BTW I am against both, but since you were talking about the blood of innocents...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488644,00.html
I don't know what to call myself any more (regarding abortion). But since my opposition to capital punishment is more than just about killing innocent people and more about not ending life PERIOD, I find myself becoming more and more anti-abortion. Spiritually, not necessarily legally.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:12 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
Its interesting to me that more liberal minded people are pro-abortion/anti-death penalty and more conservative minded people are anti-abortion/pro-death penalty. I'm pro life across the board. To me killing is killing and its wrong no matter what the circumstances.
Not one person said they were pro-abortion.

I don't believe in abortion for me in most cases, but I do believe that it's not up to me to decide what someone else believes. I am anti-death penalty as well.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
Its interesting to me that more liberal minded people are pro-abortion/anti-death penalty and more conservative minded people are anti-abortion/pro-death penalty. I'm pro life across the board. To me killing is killing and its wrong no matter what the circumstances.
Not one person said they were pro-abortion.

I don't believe in abortion for me in most cases, but I do believe that it's not up to me to decide what someone else believes. I am anti-death penalty as well.
Perfect. That's exactly what I believe.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:56 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
Its interesting to me that more liberal minded people are pro-abortion/anti-death penalty and more conservative minded people are anti-abortion/pro-death penalty. I'm pro life across the board. To me killing is killing and its wrong no matter what the circumstances.
I'm pro-choice and pro-death penalty. Does that make me liberal or conservative or confused?
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:05 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Springcurl View Post
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Originally Posted by mrspoppers View Post
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Originally Posted by poisonivy View Post
Its interesting to me that more liberal minded people are pro-abortion/anti-death penalty and more conservative minded people are anti-abortion/pro-death penalty. I'm pro life across the board. To me killing is killing and its wrong no matter what the circumstances.
Not one person said they were pro-abortion.

I don't believe in abortion for me in most cases, but I do believe that it's not up to me to decide what someone else believes. I am anti-death penalty as well.
Perfect. That's exactly what I believe.
Yes, thank you. I get so annoyed when someone says I am pro-abortion. I am pro-choice, and to me it's about not dictating to women what to do with their own bodies like they can't handle tough choices on their own, because that is a scary slippery slope.
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