News 12.16.08

A Dog’s Role in Wrongful Convictions

Last week, Florida prosecutors dropped all charges against William Dillon, who spent 27 years in prison for a murder he has always said he didn’t commit. DNA test results and other evidence point to Dillon’s innocence in the 1981 murder, and among the evidence used to convict him was a tracking dog and its handler, both also involved in the wrongful conviction of Innocence Project client

Wilton Dedge

.

John Preston, the dog handler who testified that his dog connected Dillon to the crime scene in this murder, was discredited by a Florida state judge in 1984. The Arizona Supreme Court has called him a “charlatan.” In the wake of Dillon’s release, the Innocence Project of Florida is calling on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to launch an investigation into every case on which Preston worked.

An

editorial in the Orlando Sentinel

yesterday agrees:

Given the circumstances, it's hard to conceive that Mr. Crist would not act. Messrs. Dedge and Dillon are walking, breathing examples of a decades-old injustice. The governor cannot tolerate the idea that this stink might linger over other cases.

Read more:

Florida Today, 12/12/08:

Defender demands investigation of Brevard Attorney’s Office

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