William (Bill) Dillon spent more than half of his life in a prison for a crime he did not commit. Now, after being exonerated by DNA testing, he is telling his story of injustice and, eventually, freedom. On Wednesday, January 12, he visited Promega Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin, to relate his story and his efforts as an advocate for exonerees who are released from prison with little support from the same justice system that failed them in the first place.
The events that lead to Dillon’s false imprisonment started on August 17, 1981, when a man was found beaten to death in the parking area of a beach in a Florida tourist town. On August 22, detectives were investigating the crime scene, when Dillon and his brother drove into the parking area. Little did Dillon know that his decision to drive to the beach that day would lead to a wrongful conviction and 27 years and 8 months in prison.