Tag Archives: Florida Innocence Project

Wrongfully Convicted Man Charged with Attempted Murder

Alan Crotzer and another man were convicted in 1982 of robbery and the rape of a mother and her 12-year-old daughter. Both men were sentenced to 130 years. DNA testing later proved that Crotzer, who had claimed innocence, was not the rapist, and another convicted of the crime admitted Crotzer wasn’t involved. In 2006 a Hillsborough (FL) Circuit judge threw out his conviction. Wrongly incarcerated for 24 years, Crotzer received a $1.25 million settlement from the state of Florida with strong bipartisan legislative support. Last Sunday Crotzer was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Antoine Davis, an acquaintance with whom Crotzer had argued months earlier, accused Crotzer of shooting at him through an open car window while driving alongside his car, both moving at 40 mph. Davis was wounded. Crotzer was Continue reading

The Perfect Storm of Wrongful Convictions

The video of William Dillon, 52, singing the national anthem for the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Internet. He was invited to do the opening honors, including throwing the first pitch, because, of course, he could sing. But in doing so, he delivered another powerful message. As is often the case, Dillon, who spent more than 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, refuses to let bitterness ruin his newfound freedom. He accepted the invitation to sing about the land of the free and the home of the brave because his love of country—and the promise of America—has never wavered.

“Words cannot even explain how I feel,” he said just  prior to singing (see Tampa Bay Times report and video). “It is so emotional and so deep-ingrained in my Continue reading

Will Florida governor seek review of cases involving discredited witness?

Governor Rick Scott has formally apologized “on behalf of the state of Florida” for the 27 years William Dillon spent in prison for a crime he did not commit.  He has also signed a claims bill of $1.35 million.  It took another three years of Dillon’s life to navigate the process of getting compensation from the state. But Dillon remains unsettled over the thought of others wrongfully convicted by the now deceased John Preston, Brevard County authorities’ go-to witness whose German shepherd had quite a nose. Preston claimed he could pick up a scent in the middle of a lake Continue reading