In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was raped. She spent enough time with the rapist to identify him in a line-up and he was quickly convicted and put behind bars. His name is Ronald Cotton. It wasn't until 11 years later that Jennifer discovered she had picked the wrong man in the line-up. He was exonerated by DNA evidence. Listen to Thompson talk about how this experience impacted her life above.
Thompson and Cotton became friends and they co-authored the book Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption. Thompson has spent years speaking about the justice system, focused on the thorny issues of race, how line-ups are presented, and eye-witness identification. Two years ago, she launched Healing Justice Project to offer support, reconciliation, and recovery in exoneration cases
Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton will be in Wilmington on Tuesday, February 21st, giving a lecture as part of UNCW's Leadership Lecture Series. The lecture is at 7:00pm at the Burney Center; tickets are available at Sharkey's Box Office or online. There are additional events about the issues raised by the book at UNCW; see more here.