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Texas Tech confers honorary degree on Tim Cole

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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech University has conferred a posthumous diploma on a student who died in prison after he was wrongfully convicted of rape.

University officials awarded an honorary degree in law and social justice Friday on Timothy Cole, a U.S. Army veteran Tech had expelled in 1985 after another student accused him of rape.

Accepting the degree in Cole’s name at a ceremony at the Tech law school in Lubbock were his siblings, Cory Session and Karen Kennard.

Cole was convicted of rape in 1986 but asserted his innocence until his death in prison at age 39 in 1999. DNA evidence cleared him 10 years later, and Gov. Rick Perry made Cole the first Texan to receive a posthumous pardon in 2010.

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