On Wednesday, The Lovely BonesAlice Sebold, author of Alice Sebold has apologized to the man responsible for Alice’s rape 40-years ago and was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. Her 1999 memoir has been ceased by her publisher. LuckyThe crime was described in this article.
Sebold was just a freshman at Syracuse University when she was brutally beaten and raped. Anthony Broadwater, now aged 61, was her attacker. Broadwater was convicted, and he spent 16 years behind bars. Broadwater was released in 1999 and placed on New York City’s sex offenders registry.
He was innocent. Broadwater was misidentified by Sebold, and also a result of some sketchy microscopical hair analysis which is now being deemed junk science. Broadwater was formally acquitted of his charges on November 22, and will be removed from the sex-offender registry.
Broadwater was exonerated by the Syracuse Post-StandardSebold was not available for comment when I reached her. She broke the silence Wednesday in Medium, apologized for Broadwater’s loss and acknowledged that no apology could change it. [him]It will never happen again.”
She says that Broadwater was exonerated and she spent her days dealing with the events.
American society today is beginning to recognize and fix the problems in the judicial system. Too often justice is given at the expense or disadvantage of others. When I reported my 1981 rape, it was not an open discussion or conversation.
This past 8 days have been difficult for me to understand how it could have occurred. It will be a struggle to accept the part I have played in an unjust system that put an innocent man behind bars. It is possible that my rapist, who will not be identified, might have continued to rape women. He will most likely never get the sentence that Mr. Broadwater received.
Recognizing that the real rapist she was raped by Broadwater is a double-pronged injustice. Prisoners are later found innocent because they were not punished. Broadwater lost her life, and Sebold didn’t receive justice. Broadwater’s case is an example of many of the problems that the U.S. has with prosecuting crimes, and of how it treats people who are trying to get justice.
Sebold was able to identify her attacker in a police line-up, which highlights a problem that often leads to false convictions. Although eyewitness accounts remain an important part of criminal prosecutions, studies have shown that they are susceptible to manipulation and nudging by friendly police. People who witnesses previously identified as being attackers have had DNA tests cleared them.
Broadwater was convicted of using his hair as evidence. This is a discrediting example of the flawed forensics methods that led to so many wrong convictions. Broadwater was convicted of 1981 due to the microscopic analysis that was performed on Broadwater’s hair. However, there were also possibilities it might have been someone else’s. The FBI admitted that these were junk science in 2015. The FBI’s hair-forensics specialists were giving flawed testimony in thousands of cases before 2000. This was overwhelmingly done to convict the defendants.
Broadwater and Sebold are not the only ones to be blamed. Sebold also apologized for her loss.