*Tim Cole Act:
The Texas House of Representatives bill passed through committee and then the full house. After that, it went to Governor Rick Perry to be signed into law.
Another bill, named after Cole, was passed by the legislature and sent to the governor on May 11, 2009. It made those who are falsely convicted of a crime eligible for $80,000 for each year of incarceration and provide them with free college tuition.
The bill also established the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions. A panel set up to study the causes of wrongful convictions and to devise ways of preventing them is to report to the Texas governor no later than 2011.
While Rick Perry stated he wanted to issue a pardon, he felt that he was not legally able to do so. However, on January 7, 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion which cleared the way for the governor to pardon Cole.
On March 2, 2010, Governor Rick Perry granted Timothy Cole the state's first posthumous pardon.
*Timothy Brian Cole (19601999) was an African-American military veteran and a Texas Tech University student wrongly convicted of raping a fellow student in 1985.
Cole attended two years of college followed by two years of service in the U.S. Army. After his Army service, he returned to college at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Cole died after serving 14 years in prison, but was posthumously pardoned.
$25,000 for each year up to 20 years; or $500,000 for 20 years
Attorney fees, lost wages and counseling expenses for up to
This year, lawmakers are considering a measure that would
double the amount for each year in prison.
A bill adopted in 2001 allows people who were wrongfully convicted to collect $25,000 per year of incarceration if they:
*Served all or part of their sentence.
*Received a pardon of innocence or relief from a court, based on their innocence.
*Can document the amount of time served.
In 2003, a new provision, which the bill's author calls unfair, added this requirement:
*A letter certifying the claimant's actual innocence from the district attorney.