Texas leads nation in exonerating wrongfully convicted

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Updated: 2/06/2014 9:32 pm
Texas leads the nation in exonerating one-time prisoners who were wrongfully convicted.
That's according to a new report by the National Registry of Exonerations.  13 inmates were released in 2013.
The push to right these wrongs spear headed by the Timothy Cole case.

He's the former Texas Tech student who died in prison 13 years after he was convicted for a rape he didn't commit.
Cole was the first person in Texas to be posthumously pardoned.
Executive Director of the Innocence project, Nick Vilbas said Cole's case will help countless others.

"What really got the ball rolling with in terms of reform was Tim's case. In 2009 his case was heard in Austin at the same time as the legislature. We were able to highlight all the issues in his case and what had gone on there." 
Following Cole's case, Texas passed statutes allowing those convicted by out dated scientific evidence to get a new trial.      
"Some people would be embarrassed about that, in other words it's something that people would not be happy about. We're proud of it because it shows Texas is willing to take the steps to correct mistakes." Vilbas said.
150,000 inmates are currently in Texas prisons.
Vilbas says about one percent of them are serving time for a crime they didn't commit.
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