Bill Dillon of Florida was convicted of murder in 1981 at the age of twenty-two, and sentenced to life in prison. The only problem is, he didn’t do it.
Dillon spent twenty-seven years in prison before being exonerated in 2008 of the crime that saw him face the harsh brutality of the American penal system for so long. His story, though it appears to have a happy ending, is nevertheless a sad one and Dillon no doubt has scars that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. This is exactly the sort of thing that Colorado criminal defense attorneys exist to prevent.
For twenty-seven years, Bill Dillon sat in his cell, alone, every night, singing. It was this singing, he said, that brought him some semblance of peace from the living nightmare of beatings, rape, and denigration, all over a crime he didn’t commit.
Though it would seem that the experience showed him his calling-he has just recently released his first album-it is a tragedy that he was ever accused, let alone convicted, of a crime. Unfortunately, while our criminal justice system is excellent overall, it is not perfect.
A strong criminal law attorney is necessary to ensure that episodes like this occur as infrequently as possible. Those accused of crimes should not simply count on court-appointed attorneys to represent them. In Florida or in Castle Rock, Colorado, criminal attorneys range from good to bad, and it’s much better to hire your own. While certainly discovering a gift like singing in prison, and learning a lesson to appreciate all of the little things in life, is a good thing to come out of a bad situation, it is still tragic that people like Dillon too often end up suffering needlessly.