July 28, 2008
Says DNA Testing Demonstrates Inmate Is Innocent
DNA Testing Demonstrates William Dillon is Innocent
Dillon has Served Nearly 27 Years for a Murder he Did Not
Commit; Attorneys Call for Immediate Release
-- On Monday, July 28, 2008, Orchid Cellmark,
a nationally recognized forensic laboratory in Farmers Branch, Texas,
issued a report in the case of State of Florida v. William Dillon,
which demonstrates Dillon's actual innocence of the 1981 murder of
James Dvorak in Canova Beach, Brevard County, Florida.
The court-ordered testing on DNA from the bloody yellow t-shirt worn by
the murderer excludes William Dillon, confirming that someone other
than Dillon murdered Dvorak. "After nearly 27 years in prison for a
crime he didn't commit, the State should do the right thing and release
this innocent man immediately," said Dillon's attorney, Mike Pirolo,
Assistant Public Defender from the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.
"This case has all of the hallmarks of a
said Seth Miller, Executive Director of the Innocence Project of
Florida, Inc. The State's evidence included subsequently recanted
testimony of a star witness who was both threatened by and having
sexual relations with one of the State's lead investigators; a mistaken
eyewitness identification by a man legally blind in one eye; fraudulent
scientific testimony of a dog handler who purported to link Dillon to
the crime; and testimony of a jailhouse snitch whose pending rape
charge was dismissed after naming Dillon as the murderer.
William Dillon, 2008
|This case is eerily
similar to that of Wilton Dedge, another man
convicted in Brevard County and exonerated by DNA testing. In both
cases, the State acted recklessly, using shockingly unreliable evidence
to obtain and preserve convictions that the evidence clearly did not
support. "With Dedge, the State dragged its feet for years before
finally admitting they had the wrong man. I hope they've learned their
lesson. The time to release Dillon is now," said Miller.
When informed of the results, Dillon said,
"It makes me
extremely happy that it's finally coming to an end. The results prove
what I have said all along—I am innocent."
William Dillon and
his attorney, 1981