Monday, March 9, 2009

Dillon stands up, speaks out


Dillon stands up, speaks out



Falsely jailed man addresses alliance



BY KEILANI BEST • FLORIDA TODAY • March 8, 2009


MELBOURNE -- Fighting back tears, William Dillon, who spent 27 years in prison until proved innocent by DNA testing, gave his first public speech to a crowd at the Space Coast Progressive Alliance's "Audacity of Hope" event Saturday evening at the Gleason Auditorium at Florida Tech.
Dillon, who was convicted of first-degree felony murder in 1981 and was sentenced to life in prison by the 18th Judicial Circuit Court of Brevard, spoke briefly about the judicial system and his experience.

He was released in November of last year.

"Many years, I waited for something to happen," he said. "I wrote anyone I could; anybody that I thought would listen, and I got no replies. Nobody was listening."

He cited the manipulation of witnesses, the lack of DNA testing at the time and unreliable sources for his conviction and credited the Innocence Project of Florida for his freedom.
The project paid for the DNA testing and drafted post-conviction arguments in Dillon's case.
Cammie Donaldson, action social projects co-chair of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance, was emotional after Dillon's speech.

"Everybody, even if you didn't know about the Dillon case, was proud that justice was served," she said.

According to Toni Shrewsbury, an assistant director of the Innocence Project of Florida, said Dillon had the option of remaining off the dais Saturday night as an honored guest, but instead decided to speak.

"He's becoming to see how important it is to speak out," she said. "People are going to hear more from Bill Dillon."

Contact Keilani Best at 242-3784 or kbest@floridatoday.com.

1 comment:

Innocent said...

I am a mother, an honest law abiding citizen, a single parent with a quadriplegic son, an educator, a journalist with a doctorate degree, a person with no criminal history, and wrongfully arrested 4 years and 8 months ago.

I have tried to provide the evidence of the prosecutor and investigator's illegal activities but no one is interested in the evidence. To acknowledge the evidence would mean someone in the MFCU and SAO were violating my rights and withholding, tampering, and fabricating evidence.

Who can you turn to when the judicial system has violated your rights and failed you?

Did the SAO steal two innocent lives because they could not admit they made a mistake?