‘Equal justice under the law’ just a dream in Texas’-The story of Tim Coles

Tim Cole

Recently we had a chance to hear Cory Sessions speak about the 10 year anniversary of his beloved brother Tim Coles dying in a Texas jail cell, before he could prove his innocence. A former army veteran with new prior criminal record. He was labeled a ‘The Texas Tech Rapist‘, a charge he strongly denied. His family did everything in their power to prove his innocence. After his death the Innocence Project of  Texas was able to prove he was wrongly accused through DNA evidence. They went to a court of appeals where it was declared that he was wrongly convicted. The family has since been seeking a pardon something that could be granted by governor Rick Perry but has been denied. Apparently no one wants to admit that an innocent man died under the Texas judicial system.

Below is a video of Cory speaking at the rally.. Its accompanied by a letter sent to a local newspaper

Session: ‘Equal justice under the law’ just a dream in Texas’

by Cory D Sessions


One of the most infamous days in the history of the Texas judicial system occurred 10 years ago today. Timothy Cole died an innocent man in a Texas prison cell.

An Army veteran and college student who was pursuing the American dream ended up living — and dying — an American nightmare.

This year, he became the first person to be posthumously exonerated, thanks to state District Judge Charlie Baird.

In many of the letters Tim wrote from prison after being convicted of a rape he didn’t commit, he mentioned three things that he longed for — vindication, exoneration and a full pardon from the governor.

The quest for the pardon continues.

On July 1, 2009, Tim’s 49th birthday, Gov. Rick Perry said that he does not have the power to pardon the dead. Perry said he needed a constitutional amendment because of a several-decades-old opinion from former state Attorney General Waggoner Carr that prevents him from doing so. We await a modern opinion from the current attorney general, Greg Abbott.

Recently, I was in Washington, D.C. As I walked in front of the Capitol, I paused to watch the sunset over the dome. Suddenly a chill came over me. I turned around and in front of me was the majestic building that is the U.S. Supreme Court.

Looking up, I saw four words carved into the edifice of our nation’s highest court: “Equal Justice Under Law.”

It was then that I had a vision. I saw four figures dressed in black emerge from behind the great pillars that adorn the Supreme Court. These figures began their descent down the steps toward a man who stood tall as if he were at attention. As the four figures got closer, it was apparent who they were — former justices of the high court: Thurgood Marshall, Warren Burger, John Jay and William Rehnquist. The justices girded the man and they all ascended to the top of the steps. There they bestowed upon the man a full pardon, declaring, “All who seek Justice shall have Justice.”

In Texas, the only way currently for Tim Cole to get a pardon is to dream of one. The executive branch has yet to admit that an innocent man died in prison by issuing a full pardon. A pardon will not bring my brother back to life, but it will begin the healing of a 25-year-old wound.

From a Texas prison cell Tim Cole said, “I have been blessed, I am thankful for the roof over my head and every piece of bread. I still believe in the justice system even though it does not believe in me.”

There is an epidemic in our state and it is not H1N1. It is Texas’ addiction to conviction. Some of the powers that be must get a vaccination of common sense to help break their habit. The law of parties, in which an accomplice to a murder can be executed even though he didn’t kill the victim in the case, should not be the law of a political party to show that one is tough on crime.

If you woke up this morning, know that you have been blessed. On this day 10 years ago, at 4:13 p.m., Tim Cole suffered a massive heart attack and died.

Today at 4:13 p.m. pause, as I will, and remember all of those who have been wrongfully convicted and still seek “Equal Justice Under Law.”

The “Eyes of Texas” are upon itself. It is the duty of the governor to pardon those who have been wrongfully convicted whether they are dead or alive and fulfill the final words of the pledge: “liberty and justice for all.”

Cory D. Session Sr. of Fort Worth is lobbying in Austin for criminal justice reform.

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