In 1985, Texas Tech student Michele Mallin was raped and Timothy Cole was sentenced to 25 years in prison just based on her testimony. He was offered parole if he would admit guilt, but he refused. Later, Mallin admitted she was mistaken with the identity of her attacked and in 1995, Jerry Wayne Johnson confessed to the rape. She stated that investigators botched the gathering of evidence and withheld information from her, causing her to believe that Cole was the attacker. Mallin told police that her rapist smoked during the rape. However, Cole never smoked because he had severe asthma. When DNA evidence showed him to be innocent, he was exonerated on February 6, 2009. Cole died, however, in prison on December 2, 1999 from an asthma attack. It was the first posthumous DNA exoneration in the state of Texas. Texas lawmakers wept at the tale; as a result, the state with the reputation for being the toughest on crime came up with one of the most generous and supportive programs to compensate those wrongfully convicted: the Tim Cole Act.