Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Good News From Tulia

Praise Jeebus.

TULIA, Tex., April 1 — Conceding that they had made a catastrophic mistake in relying solely on the uncorroborated testimony of an undercover officer, prosecutors moved today to overturn the convictions of 38 people, almost all of them black, who were caught in a series of drug arrests in 1999 that tore this town apart.

A judge agreed with the prosecutors, and defense lawyers, that the Texas courts should vacate every conviction arising from the drug sting, including those in which the defendants pleaded guilty.

The extraordinary turnabout followed hearings here last month in which the undercover officer, Thomas Coleman, and many other witnesses testified about his troubled law enforcement career, unorthodox methods, pervasive errors, combustible temperament and apparent racism.

finally, some justice.