45.9 F
Fort Worth
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Government Ruby Cole Session, criminal justice reformer, dies

Ruby Cole Session, criminal justice reformer, dies

Other News

Tarrant County DA’s office changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuna cases

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Tarrant County  Criminal District Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov....

Arlington selects new police chief from Baltimore department

Col. Al Jones, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, has been appointed the new police chief of the the City of...

Family of Black woman shot through window sues Texas officer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Family members of a Black woman who was killed when a white police officer fired through a window of...

Law firm offers free estate plans for health care workers during pandemic

Fort Worth attorney Erik Martin says he felt compelled to find a way for his law firm to join the effort to support frontline...
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Ruby Cole Session, who championed the cause of the wrongfully convicted in Texas after her son was sent to prison for a rape he didn’t commit, has died. She was 77.

Session died of an aneurysm Thursday at home in Fort Worth, another of her sons, Cory Session, said Saturday. He said Gov. Rick Perry reached out to offer his condolences, describing his mother as a “genuine” and “spirited” woman.

Session lobbied Perry to sign the Tim Cole Act in 2009, which provides compensation for wrongfully convicted inmates to help rebuild their lives after they are freed.

Tim Cole was Session’s eldest son and a U.S. Army veteran studying at Texas Tech University when he was convicted of raping a fellow student in 1985. He died in prison from asthma complications in 1999, when he was 39 years old. Throughout his ordeal, he maintained his innocence, even though he could have gotten parole had he confessed.

Cory Session said his mother was a “tireless” advocate for his half-brother and over the years met regularly with lawmakers and others to get Cole freed. Nine years after Cole’s death, DNA testing cleared him in the rape and implicated a convicted rapist, Jerry Wayne Johnson, who had confessed to the attack in several letters to court officials that date back to 1995, four years before Cole died.

The DNA results prompted Perry to pardon Cole posthumously in 2010.

“Only the love of a mother has that steadfastness and tenacity to never give up,” said Session, policy director for the Lubbock-based Innocence Project of Texas, which campaigned for Cole’s release.

The law championed by Ruby Cole Session also spurred other reforms meant to reverse wrongful imprisonments.

She was honored in May by the Texas Senate for her achievements as an educator, criminal justice reformer and “fierce champion of the wrongly accused,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“When my mom would talk to people, when she really wanted to get something through, she would grab both their arms,” Cory Session said. She would also reach for their wrist, “somewhere where she could feel their pulse.”

After one year rolled into another in the family’s pursuit of a pardon for Cole, Session said his mother often turned to a common refrain: “Suffering breeds character and character breeds faith. And always hold on to your faith.”  


close






Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Swafford dies from COVID

City of Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jim Swafford died from COVID-19 Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, while hospitalized at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. He...

Gov. Greg Abbott endorses Drew Springer over Shelley Luther in Texas Senate special election runoff

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday endorsed state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, in his bid to join the Texas Senate, charging into a heated intraparty...

Texas must boost coronavirus control efforts amid “full resurgence” of infections, White House report says

Texas must ramp up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the state experiences a “full resurgence” of COVID-19 infections, according to...

A&M System Regents OK Tarleton Analytical Policing Institute

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved creation of Tarleton State University’s Institute for Predictive and Analytical Policing Sciences, a part...

U.S. Supreme Court leery of Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from congressional reapportionment

Some Supreme Court justices on Monday seemed skeptical of President Trump’s claim he has the authority to exclude undocumented immigrants from population totals when...