Police photo lineups challenged after series of wrongful convictions

Rock Center with Brian Williams:

Ruby Session’s guests filed in slowly, clasping each other in warm, familiar embraces. Many, who were there to attend her 75th birthday, shared a harrowing history both with each other and the woman they had come to celebrate. “She didn’t adopt us. We adopted her,” said Christopher Scott, who spent 13 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. “She is what all of us dreamed of having, a mom or a loved one who believed in us not part of the time but the whole time, because she believed her son was innocent.”

In 1985, Ruby Session’s son Timothy Cole was accused of raping fellow classmate Michele Mallin near the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. But Session never believed it. “That was not him, that was not him,” Session said. “That was not my child.”

Based on Mallin’s memory of the assailant, the Lubbock Police generated a composite sketch. And when an undercover officer bumped into Cole near the campus, she thought he looked like the sketch. Cole had recently reported a robbery and the police used that excuse to take a picture of him at his house. Experts and family members point to inconsistencies in the line-up. For example, Cole’s background was different and he was the only one looking directly in the camera.

Read the whole story: Rock Center with Brian Williams

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