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.
Continue reading “Justice 27 Years Too Late: The William Dillon Story”
She’s only two years old, but her face is a mass of deep cuts. Her left ear is torn almost completely off. Her right leg was broken a while back. It never healed right, and bends at an unnatural angle. She doesn’t put weight on it. There are puncture wounds on her neck. Her name might be Daisy, or Lola, or Chance. She’s a pitbull used for dog fighting. And she’s just one of countless victims of this illegal underground blood sport that is staged for the purposes of entertainment, gambling, status jockeying and sometimes just pure cruelty by what an ASPCA estimate puts at tens of thousands of people across the United States.
Up until recently, the canine victims of this crime were largely voiceless. They lived with injury and pain. They charged into fights fueled by both instinct and the desire to please the very master who sent them into harm’s way for a few hundred bucks or an uptick in personal status. Most ultimately died, some mercifully via a bullet, others slowly and painfully, abandoned after losing a fight. But now, these victims have a small but very powerful ally: DNA. Continue reading “DNA: Giving Voice to a New Population of Victims”