Exonerated after 27 years behind bars
William Dillon is a free man
- Duration 9:18
- Date Jul 28, 2012
William Dillon is a free man
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1980s William Dillon was just 21 years old when he was sent to prison for a murder.
That he did not commit after numerous appeals and 27.
Years behind bars DNA evidence finally cleared him of the crime but despite being locked up for the better part of his life -- will never lost his love for his country and the game of baseball that's why last week he decided to sing the National Anthem before a Major League Baseball game -- Okay.
It's incredibly awesome and pets here as a free man in studio and asserting wore when he got released from prison assured he will always -- mad at them.
In this series running on our curvy couch this you -- guilty William Dillon.
You never got angry and you're not bitter today why not how do you I won't say I never got angry that's not true because that's not when years I was very angry.
Yes because you let's let's just recap for a second you were falsely accuse based on faulty eyewitness testimony and it witness who at ultimately lied.
About -- a crime so for fifteen years you were angry how do you survive during those years.
Was tough I was being you know to 21 year old and was being.
Going through prison I've never been in before -- it was really tough and so it was.
Made me very angry that I was trying to fight situations in the -- successful survival more than anything wasn't about innocence or guilt and remorse about survival.
But as -- said.
Then something happened in prison and you turned around your attitude what allowed you to not be angry now.
Well I didn't like who -- was and I just kept thinking about it -- like Kuo wasn't going real wasn't -- program on television with some kids in the cancer center.
A country singer had come into us see them in their hospital beds -- -- -- -- -- -- on their heads and I -- -- saw the spirits that they had no they only had three months to six months to live they were terminal.
And it just touched my heart so much and so deeply that I realized that I didn't really have a lot to cry about I was in a bad situation -- I wasn't in their kind of situated there really see any future but the positive -- -- -- all was that.
That it really sent a message to me that stayed in my head means that every time times -- artists that popped up and said bill.
It was just good good logic common sense -- that you -- that bad.
And to -- -- for our audience does noticed you were being scouted by the Detroit Tigers correct picture so recently governor Scott of Florida.
Apologize personally to you had an offer of compensation package of over a million dollars to you does that.
You know I know money probably can't fill that hole but did it -- some what did you even look to that money and say that that that really is not relevant what was your response when the real.
-- of that is that it took him three years after my -- you -- for the first couple years there was still trying to tell people that I committed the crime was only through DNA testing in the fact of them catching -- hit on the DNA.
That they actually came around the corner tuned to realizing that I hadn't committed the crime so.
And you also want to give credit to Geraldo Rivera because he did an investigation.
It helped figure out why you were falsely convicted and exonerate you.
And I believe that we have it's all there weren't very well online -- are -- there.
I got -- bill and I've -- -- hello how you doing blood so I can't hear you mourns.
You know I'm so proud of you I'm so proud that you didn't let bitterness can -- here I'm.
I'm proud of -- you've grown up I have to say he spoke you know we've -- their belief in the criminal justice system.
That this man was convicted on the plenty -- evidence you could ever imagine.
You mention that faulty eyewitness testimony that was also.
-- dog used in this case.
By a man that we expose that dirty dog -- a guy who could make the dog hit on anything he wanted.
And he's he you know that dog and what president the one who -- But bill behind bars there's so many years so -- -- -- and the fact that he's not bitter that picture remarkable tribute to him.
And bill we're gonna have more with you -- a moment we're where were blown things appear -- that Russia still stick around wanna get balls response to you right after this quick commercial break the -- and -- there with us folks.
So we just met William Dillon who is.
Had been wrongly convicted spent 27 years behind -- we just heard from her -- although on the phone as part of a 20/20 investigation looking at some of this information and build and have a chance to respond to overall -- -- -- -- -- go ahead bill I really want him to just apologize to him -- what -- was there on the -- -- -- -- is still on the -- -- Okay Lisa I don't know here but what -- you have to apologize to her about wanna apologize.
Actually -- won't just tell them thank you and apologies sorry but I wanna say thank you to.
Firm proven John -- to be a fraud in and I am really surprised that in that editorial that you gave that they didn't look deeper into judge John Preston site history and stuff the fact that he was never even certified to be a dog handler.
I just wanna say thank you I wanna say thank you to Florida innocent project.
And Mike -- -- my public defender without him standing up for me I wouldn't still wouldn't see my freedom through all that evidence it was brought forth.
And Sammy Dalembert.
-- -- and in Florida and -- Spearman.
Lobby and from my my freedom.
For -- -- is an amazing the the outlook on life William has not carrying this angry bitterness towards everything he went through 27 years ruining his life.
Still an amazing philosophy -- It is they've been an amazing thing is that how long it took this system to exonerate him and how resistant the system is.
To allowing DNA there was no DNA in those days.
Now we can -- to a scientific certainty.
Who committed a crime in this man was innocent from the get go.
I've got bless them healthy they needed -- -- that I got a wonderful life ahead of them.
Governor Scott that up to the plate with a million bucks.
I think it should be even more.
You know it took more than half his life -- -- and yet but would feel like disposed -- anyway.
I had to lose half of it that way this so that that.
But you're a CD is called black robes and lawyers -- -- that you have.
You know a few things about those two things certainly and you're gonna sing for us.
Did you get to sing in prison I certainly did -- saying to the prisoners in myself down the hallway you know it's and that's reflective tunnel and he's saying you -- -- and as soon as your singing in the people wanna -- and these things don't.
Basically that's soulful sound that you all know and everybody hears about -- that.
It's that sort of -- Mentality that -- found.
A bright light maybe in that in a dark place like that well.
We're gonna hear it coming up and this incredible story not William Dillon he's at 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
And now he's back with us to sing the star spangled banner you're getting good -- this bill.
There every time it's a little bit more practicing -- a bit better and now you national television alleged plot that you're going to be my back no no don't you tell us.
All right okay.
Pull loose renewed terror and moves.
I a and.
-- -- -- -- You need the -- What soon broadly.
-- And know.
At that to our daily lives you it's.
Who's broads drier so then -- -- all this.
-- -- Wound rare on cars we view long.
Odds -- so good none.
And -- mean mean.
I mean overall do you.
-- it's really bad.
Yeah -- it's.
-- you proved.
Had war as doom.
I think it was very.
-- it's dawn it's back it is -- -- And you and we're.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- And then though.
Thank you must.