Posted: Dec 1, 2021 16:53 GMT
Alice Sebold also criticized the American justice system and acknowledged the role race played in the conviction of Anthony Broadwater, who has been acquitted of the crime.
Acclaimed American writer Alice Sebold on Tuesday apologized to African-American Anthony Broadwater, who was acquitted last week of a rape case that occurred four decades ago and for which he spent 16 years in jail.
“I regret more than anything that the life he may have led was unjustly taken from him, and I know that no apology can change what happened to him and it never will. Of the many things I wish for you, most of all I hope that you and your family have the time and privacy to heal, “Sebold wrote on a personal blog.
Convicted in 1982, Anthony never admitted to committing the crime. During the time he was imprisoned, he requested parole at least five times, all of his requests being rejected. “My goal in 1982 was justice, don’t perpetuate injustice. And certainly not forever and irreparably alter the life of a young man for the same crime that had altered mine “, reflected the writer about it.
In 1981, Sebold was a freshman at Syracuse University when she was raped and beaten in a park. Months later, he saw a man on the street who seemed to be his assailant and reported him to the police without knowing who he was. After not being able to locate the suspect immediately, agents suggested it was Broadwater. However, after the arrest, Sebold was unable to identify his alleged assailant on the stand and pointed to another man. Later, in the judicial process, the victim declared that she had been wrong and that her rapist was not the person she had indicated, but Broadwater, adding that the two looked like twins to her.
After serving the full sentence, in 1999 the convict was released and decided to prove his innocence and clearing his name because he was kept on the New York sex offender registry, which made it difficult for him to find a job and lead a normal social life. That same year, Sebold published ‘Lucky’ (‘Afortunada’, in Spanish), the memoir about the abuse she suffered, which boosted her literary career.
Finally, Anthony was acquitted of the charges on November 22 after it was determined that he had been tried and convicted based on two tests that could not serve as evidence: Sebold’s initial misidentification of the suspect and a faulty microscopic analysis of a hair.
“Another abused young black man”
In addition to expressing his “gratitude” for the fact that Anthony was exonerated, in his recent statement Sebold criticized the American justice system and recognized the role that race played in the unjust conviction of the ex-convict. “I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact is that 40 years ago, he became another young black man abused by our faulty legal system. I will always regret what they did to him, “he said.
“I will continue to regret it for the rest of my life that, while seeking justice through the legal system, my own misfortune resulted in Mr. Broadwater’s unjust conviction for which he has served not only 16 years behind bars, but in ways that further hurt and stigmatize, almost a chain perpetual, “Alice Sebold concluded in her statement.
For its part, the New York publisher Simon & Schuster has reported that “will stop distributing” in all its formats the work ‘Lucky’.