Jennifer Thompson-Cannino V. Cotton

1789 Words8 Pages
This book is about a women named Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and a man named Ronald Cotton. In July of 1984, Jennifer Cannino who was twenty-two at the time, was raped at knifepoint in her Elon University apartment. She managed to get away and after some time, identify her attacker as Ronald Cotton. In the courts Cotton time and time again reiterated that Thompson-Cannino was mistaken in her serious accusations against him but because she was so positive that she was successful in identifying him as her attacker, police decided this was enough evidence to put Cotton behind bars. After close to eleven years in prison, Cotton was granted with the ability to take a DNA test that ended up proving his innocence. After more than a decade of wrongful…show more content…
This time around, he was given another life sentence plus fifty-four years. At this point he was ragging and hurt, missing his family, friends and right to freedom. He went back and forth with the thought of killing Poole but after talking to his dad about it, decided he would try to make the best of his life, no matter how hard it would be. He explained that he wanted to leave it in God’s hands since he knew he was an innocent man. God would lead him in the right direction. One day in 1995, Cotton was watching the O.J. Simpson trial and watched how they used DNA as evidence and once again called on his lawyers. Knowing it would clear his name seeing that none of his DNA would be found at neither Thompson-Cannino’s nor the others girls crime scene. He asked for and was granted the test that would free him. After almost eleven long years of imprisonment, Cotton was able to walk out as a free, innocent man. He soon married and had a child of his own. Poole then confessed to the attacks and his DNA connected him to both scenes to prove his confession was real; however, before he could be brought to trail for the rapes he died of cancer. This is all great but what happened next is surprising and in most cases would not end then evolve into a new…show more content…
Jennifer Thompson had to try to bring together as many facts about how her attacker looked in the dark, then try to turn it into a plausible sketch. In these kind of cases, your adrenaline is pumping and you cant always think clearly. Your mind is going in so many different directions all linked to one thought, to escape. The fact that she was able to study her assailants face and get away was impressive on her part. The only catch was she got the wrong guy. She used her sketch to pick out Cotton’s mug shot, which only locked the fact that he was her attacker into her memory. When they conducted the lineup, she basically already knew whom she was going to pick, which was Cotton. One thing I think persuaded her to stay on Cotton were the police officers not really asking her why she was sure it was him, they only asked her if she was sure. It was almost like an encouragement on the officer’s part. She was never asked to make any other connections to Cotton and her attacker, only what he looked like. Even at the second trial Jennifer Thompson once again picked Cotton even though Bobby Poole was brought into the mix because she basically conditioned her mind to connect Ronald Cotton to the rape. She started seeing Cotton’s face in her nightmares, which started to make an everlasting picture as the face of her
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