Justice system at fault in wrongful conviction

It is impossible to get back time that has been stolen from you.

Especially when you were wrongfully convicted of rape, spent almost two decades in prison and died there due to a lifelong illness.

According to CNN.com, back in 1985, Timothy Cole was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for allegedly raping 20-year-old Michele Mallin.

Throughout the trial, Cole maintained his innocence and could not understand why they were convicting him when he did not even know Mallin.

Unfortunately for Cole, he died in prison on Dec. 2, 1999 due to heart complications that stemmed from a lifelong asthmatic condition.

It is a decade later and his name has finally being cleared.

According to CNN affiliate KXAN, Cole was cleared by a Texas circuit court judge after a DNA test confirmed his innocence Friday. 

After all of Cole’s pain, suffering and humiliation the real offender, Jerry Johnson, confessed to the rape in a letter sent in 2007.

Needless to say the letter did not reach Cole in time.

Allowing another man to take the blame for your transgressions is the most selfish thing a person can do.

When Cole was convicted of the crime, he was a student at Texas Tech University. Cole was deprived of his college experience and a promising future.

The jury who convicted Cole is also to blame because they failed to completely evaluate the details of the crime.

Mallan said her attacker smoked throughout the entire ordeal. Cole had asthma and that “minor” detail should have sent up a red flag.

But the court system dropped the ball in this case, DNA test or not.

<i>Leontyne Mason for the Editorial Board.