For this week’s blog post I thought I would share an expert from the draft of my featured story. It discusses the story of a man effected by false identification. a link to the full TED talk where I found some of the information can be found here. Enjoy!
A Saturday night out on the town for a romantic dinner with his wife painted the perfect evening for Steve Titus. The 31 year old Seattle resident was all but ready to close up shop at his day job as restaurant manager and meet the love of his life, soon to be engaged to, for some cocktails to wind down from a long week. On their way home from dinner the two were pulled over by police in what seemed to be a simple mix up. Authorities approached Steve’s car with reports of a similar looking vehicle leaving the scene where a female hitchhiker was raped earlier, and eyewitness testimony resembling Titus himself. Without any formal proof police took Titus’s picture, and went about their night. What should’ve be a funny story would be the night everything changed for Steve Titus, as not too long after he was called to appear in front of a jury for the very same sexual assault charges he was accused of that night. As a result of a victim testifying to the accuracy of Titus being guilty, he was convicted and forced to leave his family and fiancé.
The remainder of that year consisted of constant phone calls local newspapers in hopes they would investigate his story. Eventually Titus was able to grab the attention of an investigative journalist, who actually tracked down the real rapist, and when the information was given to the judge, Titus was set free. This should’ve been the end of the story, and a reminder of a very unfortunate year. However, Titus was far from done and in the process of obtaining his freedom he had lost everything that mattered. He was fired from his job, lost all the money he had in the process, and most importantly his fiancé left him as a result of his persistent anger. It was then that Titus decided to file a lawsuit against the police department and others responsible for his incarceration. Titus’s fight against the legal system consumed every second of his life from that point on. The morning of the day before his hearing he experienced excruciating pain in his chest, and shortly after died of a stress related heart attack at the age of 35.