Saturday, June 6, 2009

Texas Governor lacks authority to issue posthumous pardon

Back in February I wrote about the sad case of Timothy Cole, a young man wrongly convicted of rape who was exonerated ten years after his death behind bars.

Now comes word that Governor Rick Perry lacks the authority to grant a posthumous pardon because a proposed constitutional amendment did not make it out of the legislature before the end of the regular session.
"We're extremely disappointed in this," said Cole's brother Cory Session. "He said he would take care of it. If taking care of it is letting it wait for another two years, no. It's been 25 years. We're tired of waiting."
According to the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole, while Gov. Perry is empowered to issue pardons to living people, he does not have the power to issue a pardon after a person's death.
"I believe we are going to find a way to grant clemency to Tim Cole. We're pretty optimistic." -- Jeff Blackburn, Innocence Project of Texas.
The family's next step is to seek a pardon from President Obama.

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