Thursday, December 2, 2021
Home Global Issues He spent years in prison for the rape of author Alice Sebold,...

He spent years in prison for the rape of author Alice Sebold, the subject of her memoir, ‘Lucky.’ A judge just exonerated him

Convicted in 1982, Broadwater spent greater than 16 years in prison. He was denied parole at the very least 5 occasions as a result of he would not admit to against the law he did not commit, in accordance with his attorneys. And he handed two lie detector checks.

Broadwater, 61, tried 5 occasions to get the conviction overturned. And even after he was launched, he did not surrender. But it did not occur — till Monday, when New York State Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy vacated the rape conviction and different counts associated to it.

The Onondaga County District Attorney joined in the movement to vacate the conviction.

Sebold described the rape, which occurred when she was a freshman at Syracuse University in 1981, in painstaking element in her memoir. It was printed in 1999, the 12 months after Broadwater’s launch from prison.

Almost 5 months after she was raped, Sebold noticed Broadwater on the avenue in Syracuse. He reminded her of the rapist, and she or he reported the encounter to police, in accordance with Broadwater’s attorneys’ affirmation. But later, she didn’t determine Broadwater in a police lineup.

Broadwater was convicted on two items of proof — Sebold’s account — a cross-racial identification, since the author is White and Broadwater is Black — and the evaluation of a chunk of hair that was later decided to be defective, his attorneys wrote.

“Research has found that the risk of eyewitness misidentification is significantly increased when the witness and the subject are of different races,” the affirmation acknowledged.

As to the hair evaluation, in 2015, “the FBI testified that microscopic hair analysis contained errors in at least 90 percent of the cases the agency reviewed,” in accordance with the attorneys’ news launch.

“We know now that the testimony of the forensic chemist stemmed from a largely debunked forensic approach to hair microscopy,” the affirmation acknowledged.

In “Lucky,” Sebold wrote that “a detective and a prosecutor told her after the lineup that she picked out the wrong man and how the prosecutor deliberately coached her into rehabilitating her misidentification,” in accordance with the affirmation.

CNN has reached out to Sebold and her publishing firm a number of occasions for remark.

The unreliability of the hair evaluation and the dialog between the prosecutor and Sebold after the lineup would in all probability have led to a special verdict if it had been offered at trial, the attorneys stated.

“I won’t sully these proceedings by saying I’m sorry,” District Attorney William Fitzpatrick stated in the courtroom. “That doesn’t cut it. This should never have happened.”

Broadwater broke down in tears when the judge introduced his choice.

“When the district attorney spoke to me, his words were so profound — so strong — it shook me,” Broadwater informed CNN on Wednesday. “It made me cry with joy and happiness because a man of this magnitude would say what he said on my behalf … it’s, it’s beyond whatever I can say myself.”

After his launch, Broadwater remained on a intercourse offender record. He described how the conviction had ruined his life.

He struggled to seek out work after getting out of jail when employers came upon about his prison document.

“I did what I could do, and that was just you know — creating work for myself doing landscaping, tree removal, hauling, clean-outs,” he stated.

His spouse needed youngsters, however “I wouldn’t bring children in the world because of this. And now, we’re past days, we can’t have children,” Broadwater informed reporters after the court docket listening to.

The couple met in 1999, a few 12 months after he was launched from prison, he informed CNN. After their first date, he gave her the transcripts and different paperwork from his case, telling her to learn them and resolve if she needed to be with him.

“She believed me and she gave me more strength,” he stated. “I just wanted a better quality of life, but I could never get a better quality of jobs.”

Part of the cause Broadwater’s attorneys, J. David Hammond and Melissa Swartz, received concerned in the case is because of Tim Mucciante, who was concerned in a undertaking to develop a movie adaptation of “Lucky.”

Mucciante “had doubts that the story was the way that it was being portrayed in the film,” stated Hammond, which led him to rent a personal investigator who’s related to their regulation agency.

“It didn’t take long, digging around, that we realized, OK, there’s something here,” stated Hammond. He and Swartz listened to the transcript of the trial and located “serious legal issues,” which prompted them to deliver a movement, he stated.

Hammond and Swartz are at the very least the fifth set of legal professionals he employed to assist together with his case, Broadwater stated.

“I never gave up. I could never, ever give up and live under these conditions … I was going to do everything I could to prove my innocence,” he stated.

Days after the judge’s choice, Broadwater stated, “it feels so surreal, I’m still soaking it in. I’m kind of like — afraid in a sense. I’m so happy.”

As to Sebold, Broadwater stated he would love an apology.

“I sympathize with her, what happened to her,” he stated. “I just hope there’s a sincere apology. I would accept it. I’m not bitter or have malice towards her.”

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