Fort Worth, Texas
Family receives posthumous pardon's copy
The family of a Texas man who died while imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit cried and hugged at his graveside Friday with a framed copy of the state's first posthumous pardon — a document that finally proves his innocence. Gov. Rick Perry granted Timothy Cole's pardon nearly three weeks ago. He gave Cole's mother, Ruby Session, and brother, Cory Session, the pardon document Friday at a Fort Worth hotel. Cole was cleared by DNA testing in 2008, nine years after he died in prison at age 39 of asthma complications. He had spent more than 13 years behind bars, steadfastly maintaining his innocence of the rape of a Texas Tech University student in Lubbock. Texas leads the nation in inmate exonerations.
City forced to drop 185 drug cases
Charges have been dropped or convictions vacated in 185 drug cases because information gathered in a criminal investigation of five police city officers suggests evidence could have been tainted, Camden County prosecutor Warren Faulk announced Friday. One of the officers pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiring with other officers to deprive others of their civil rights. Kevin Parry, who resigned from the department, admitted he planted drugs on suspects, conducted illegal searches, threatened additional charges for suspects who refused to cooperate and stole drugs and money from suspects.
Phoenix: The Arizona Game and Fish Department has fired an employee following an internal investigation into the capture and death of what was the only known wild jaguar in the United States. The cat was found snared in a Game and Fish trap on Feb. 18, 2009, and had to be euthanized.
Nevada: Activists are questioning the rising death toll from a government roundup of wild horses after the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said 77 mustangs have died so far in the Calico Mountains.