Scott apologizes, signs $1.35 million compensation for wrongly-convicted William Dillonby Dara Kam | March 1st, 2012
In an emotional ceremony, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill compensating wrongly-convicted William Dillon $1.35 million for the 27 years he spent behind bars before DNA evidence exonerated him of a murder conviction.
“On behalf of the state of Florida, I apologize for what’s happened to you,” Scott said at the bill signing ceremony. “What I really appreciate from sitting down with you is that you have such a positive attitude.”
Scott signed the bill hours after the Senate gave final approval to the measure (SB 2) with Dillon looking on from the public gallery.
And the ceremony put to rest a 30-year battle waged by Dillon and supporters, including former Florida State University president Sandy D’Alemberte, who also served as president of the American Bar Association.
Dillon thanked his team, including D’Alemberte and Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, for whom Dillon’s compensation became a priority.
“There’s so many names I could tell you about that were behind the scenes to make this team…,” a refulgent Dillon said. “The dollars and cents they make sense for my life, but they don’t give me back what was taken from me. But at the same time, it’s such a joy to be here, because my life was gone. I can’t do anything but look forward.”