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Brother Of Tim Cole, Man Who Was Wrongfully Convicted And Died In Prison, Says Activism Comes At A Cost

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - No family asks to be thrust into the role of advocacy, especially when the cost is a loved one's life.

"No, the pain doesn't go away," said Cory Session, even as tears begin to fill his eyes. "The solution for dealing with that pain, [is] knowing that man, that woman can walk out and their lives are changed forever, because they will have the funds... they will have the ability to do what Tim couldn't."

Tim is his brother.

Timothy Cole, the veteran and Texas Tech student, was wrongfully convicted and died in prison in 1999. A white woman accused him of rape. Another inmate later confessed to the crime, DNA evidence was conclusive and Cole was pardoned posthumously.

A law named after him now compensates the wrongly convicted, and his life story is used as a police training tool. Still, Cory Session says the work is far from over.

"Demonstrations are needed," said Session, who serves on Fort Worth's Race and Culture Commission and is vice president of The Innocence Project of Texas. "Demonstrations are in the DNA of the United States. But, after demonstration, we must have education... then we must have legislation."

Although he has seen the justice system fail, Session remains hopeful.

He says he is encouraged by the diversity of voices now calling for change. And most of all, he remembers the words now etched on his brothers tombstone, which were pulled from a letter he wrote their sister while spending 14 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit and for a crime that Session insists police in Lubbock knew he didn't commit.

"In it, he told her 'I still believe in the justice system, even though it doesn't believe in me,'" said Session. "So if he can have that kind of faith in prison, why shouldn't I?"

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