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Home World Man’s conviction for rape of Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold overturned

Man’s conviction for rape of Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold overturned

Broadwater was arrested 5 months later, after Sebold handed him on the road and contacted police, saying she could have seen her attacker.

But she recognized a special man as her attacker in a police lineup. In her memoir, she writes that Broadwater and the person subsequent to him appeared alike and that moments after she made her alternative, she felt she had picked the flawed man. She later recognized Broadwater in courtroom.

Sebold used a fictitious identify for Broadwater in her memoir, figuring out him as Gregory Madison.

In their movement to vacate the conviction, defence legal professionals David Hammond and Melissa Swartz wrote that the case had relied solely on Sebold’s identification of Broadwater within the courtroom and a now-discredited technique of microscopic hair evaluation.

They additionally argued that prosecutorial misconduct was an element in the course of the police lineup – that the prosecutor had falsely instructed Sebold that Broadwater and the person subsequent to him had been buddies who had purposely appeared within the lineup collectively to trick her – and that it had improperly influenced Sebold’s later testimony.

The movement to vacate the conviction was joined by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who famous that witness identifications of strangers, significantly those who cross racial traces, are sometimes unreliable. Sebold is white and Broadwater is black.

“I’m not going to sully these proceedings by saying, ‘I’m sorry,’” Fitzpatrick stated in courtroom Monday. “That doesn’t cut it. This should never have happened.”

State Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy agreed, and overturned Broadwater’s conviction of first-degree rape and 5 associated costs. He will not be categorised as a intercourse offender.

Sebold had no touch upon the choice, a spokesperson for Scribner, which revealed Lucky, stated. The spokesperson stated that the writer had no plans to replace the textual content.

A deliberate movie adaptation of Lucky performed a job in elevating doubts concerning the case in opposition to Broadwater.

Timothy Mucciante was working as government producer of the difference of Lucky however started to query the story that the film was primarily based on earlier this 12 months, after he seen discrepancies between the memoir and the script.


“I started having some doubts, not about the story that Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but the second part of her book about the trial, which didn’t hang together,” Mucciante stated.

Mucciante stated he ended up leaving the manufacturing in June as a result of of his scepticism concerning the case and the way it was being portrayed.

He employed a personal investigator, Dan Myers, who spent 20 years working for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and retired as a detective in 2020, to look into the proof in opposition to Broadwater and have become satisfied of Broadwater’s innocence.

Myers prompt they carry the proof they gathered to a lawyer and really helpful Hammond, who reviewed the investigation and agreed there was a robust case. Around the identical time, Broadwater determined to rent Hammond primarily based on the advice of one other native lawyer.

Broadwater, who was launched in 1998, had been scrimping and saving to rent lawyer after lawyer to attempt to show his innocence.

He stated that he and his spouse, Elizabeth, had needed to have youngsters, however he felt they may not given the stigma of his conviction.

Broadwater recalled that he had simply returned residence to Syracuse from a stint serving within the Marine Corps in California when he was arrested. He was 20 years previous on the time.

He had gone residence as a result of his father was sick, he stated. His father’s well being worsened in the course of the trial, and he died shortly after Broadwater was despatched to jail.

“I just hope and pray that maybe Ms Sebold will come forward and say, ‘Hey, I made a grave mistake,’ and give me an apology,” Broadwater stated.

“I sympathise with her,” he stated. “But she was wrong.”

This article initially appeared in The New York Times

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