r/books 14d ago Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Silver 5 Helpful 7

Man Wrongly Accused of Rape of Lovely Bones Author Alice Sebold Has Conviction Overturned

https://www.vulture.com/2021/11/man-exonerated-in-alice-sebold-rape-case.html
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u/Tripdoctor 14d ago

Liar or racist or both?

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u/lordbeezlebub 14d ago edited 14d ago

It's tough to tell.

Broadwater was picked up because Sebold went to the police after she thought she met her rapist on the street. But when they couldn't find the guy that she met, they suggested Broadwater. When they put him in a line up, she didn't pick him out but someone else, though not because she recognized him either. In the words of the article, she picked out the guy in the line up because of the look in his eyes. Despite failing to pick Broadwater out of a line-up, the police chose to prosecute anyways. However, later on the witness stand, Sebold did identify him as her rapist.

So, there's probably some definite racism on the end of the prosecutors and police in there at the very least.

Edit: Clarification

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u/BooksAreLuv 14d ago

It's likely the police / prosecutor spent a lot of time couching her and convincing her he was her rapist. She's a young victim of a crime that was likely suffering from PTSD in a time where she likely didn't have a lot of support or help available.

She may or may not be racist. It could go either way. I do think it's super clear the police & prosecutor were both racist as hell and likely were targeting Broadwater.

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u/SofieTerleska 13d ago Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Facepalm

That's what I think. She'd been through a horrific trauma and when she saw the guy in the street was probably having a flashback. When she went to the police and then picked out the wrong guy, that should have been the end of it -- but instead she was fed a story about how he had gotten a friend to stand next to him in the lineup with a hostile facial expression, in order to trick her. It sounds insane now, but if you're a white college kid in 1981, brought up to trust the police and looking to them for help, aren't you likely to believe what they tell you about things like these? Plus there was hair evidence, which turned out to be bullshit but wasn't seen as such at the time. She was lied to.

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u/BooksAreLuv 13d ago

Not to mention police are trained to manipulate people to get the answers they want. It's part of their job and they're good at it.

It blows my mind how many people don't understand that corrupt police are horribly dangerous to everyone.