27 years after being wrongfully convicted in Lubbock, Timothy Cole will now be honored with a monument placed across from Texas Tech University.
Cole was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1985. After he died in prison, Governor Rick Perry made Cole the first man in Texas to be posthumously exonerated.
The Lubbock City Council voted five to one in favor of the memorial on Thursday. Councilman Victor Hernandez voted against it.
Tim Cole's brother, Cory Sessions, was there for the decision. He says his brother would be smiling.
"To have a monument in Tim's honor, to tell the story of Tim of his life, and what it lead to, is very fitting in a dignifying way," Sessions said.
The privately funded 7-foot tall granite relief image will be erected at 19th and University. Local Attorney Kevin Glasheen, who represented Cole's family, will fund the memorial.
"One of the most significant things is I think Tim's courage and character for refusing to plead guilty to something he didn't do. I think that is powerful and the family's efforts to make something positive out of a tragedy," Glasheen said.
Council members agree. "If we can keep this from happening to one more young man or young lady, then it is worth all the effort in the world," said Mayor Glen Robertson.
Todd Klein said, "It's emotional in the sense it's long overdue but a beautiful expression".
Eddie Dixon will be the artist of the monument. He created the Willie McCool statue. He expects this creation to be just as emotional because he has a personal connection with Cole.
"I was in grad school at Tech at the same time. I didn't know him personally, but I knew him," Dixon said.
Looking back if Tim Cole were here his brother says he would be pleased. "He would probably be saying right now I told you so Lubbock. I told you so. He didn't die in vain," said Sessions.
The artist expects the monument to take three months. When it is placed in the designated location, council members will official make it a park to give Cole the property dignity he deserves. Councilman Hernandez says the park is the main reason he voted against the measure.
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