Timothy Cole Granted Posthumous Degree
The opportunities and life experiences most people get to enjoy were taken too early from Timothy Cole.
Marriage, children, growing old, are just a few on the long list of things he will never get to experience, but the one experience he is getting back, is his degree. Once pardoned by former Governor Rick Perry, his family asked Texas Tech to grant their son an honorary degree from the university. Earlier this year, the university board of regents approved the request.
Along with receiving the degree, Cole’s family and accuser, Michelle Mallin, have achieved strides in the justice system.
After Cole was wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault, he died in prison, of an asthma attack, with little time left to serve. Since Cole’s case, there have been acts and panels dedicated to making sure that people will not have to go through the scrutiny that Timothy Cole had to endure. The act is to make sure there are certain processes which must be adhered to before convicting someone.
In 2009, the state legislature enacted the Timothy Cole act, which provides compensation for the wrongly convicted, and in that same year, the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel was constructed.
“I will keep believing in the justice system,” Timothy Cole said, “even when it has stopped believing in me.”
Much like their son who never lost his faith in the justice system, Cole’s family said they always maintained their faith in Tech. Timothy Cole will receive an honorary degree that will be accepted by his family at the May 2015 commencement ceremony.