Cole had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a botched robbery in South Los Angeles that ended with the death of a clerk. Roughly a dozen students and a dozen lawyers worked more than three years to prove that Cole had been wrongfully convicted of a 1994 robbery and murder in South Los Angeles.
His case received a second look in 2000 after he charged with killing an Calipatria inmate, a crime for which he could have received the death penalty. Los Angeles lawyer Christopher Plourd represented Cole in the jail- house killing, successfully arguing that Cole had been acting in self-defense.
Plourd also found holes in Cole's original conviction, and alerted the California Innocence Project, reported the newspaper. The project's team proved that Cole had poor legal representation and cast doubt on eyewitness testimony that had been critical in convicting Cole.