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Tim Cole officially pardoned

This is a small bit of good to come out of a great injustice.

The [Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles] sent a letter to Tim Cole’s attorney at the Innocence Project of Texas on Friday saying that it had voted to recommend clemency and forwarded its decision to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.

It would be the state’s first posthumous pardon, and Perry has indicated that he would sign an order clearing Cole’s name if recommended by the board.

“Gov. Perry looks forward to pardoning Tim Cole pending the receipt of a positive recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Perry has now fulfilled that promise. Good on him for taking care of it quickly.

Cory Session, who has been fighting to clear his brother’s name for years, said he anticipates that the governor will sign Cole’s pardon in March during a ceremony in Fort Worth.

“To say that the wheels of justice turn slowly would be an understatement,” Session said Saturday.

“The question is: How many more Tim Coles are out there?”

Grits tries to quantify that question. All I know is that if we lived in a society that valued justice more than it valued keeping score, we would have a criminal justice system that went to much greater lengths to prevent this sort of tragedy from happening, and worked proactively to fix the mistakes that did happen. I hope someday to live in that kind of society, but I don’t expect it.

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