It Took 27 Years For Him To Get Justice
Joining me on this episode of FairPlay is someone who persistently fought for justice for his own life and his freedom and for the truth and he got it but it took him about 27 years to get there, and his name is Valentino Dixon. And he spoke with us out of Buffalo NewYork.
On June 12, 1992, the jury convicted Dixon of second-degree murder of Torriano Jackson, attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 38 1/3 years to life in prison.
Fast forward to 26 plus years to September 19, 2018, Lamarr Scott, the actual shooter, who admitted to this crime many times before, pled guilty to manslaughter in return for a sentence that would run with the 25 to 50 year sentence he was already serving for another killing.
That same day, Dixon’s convictions for second-degree murder of Torriano Jackson, attempted murder, and assault were vacated and the prosecution dismissed the charges. The conviction for criminal possession of a weapon remained intact because the TEC-9 that Scott said he used in the shooting belonged to Dixon. Dixon was then released from prison more than 27 years after his arrest in 1991.
Valentino's case is best described in the words of Max Adler at The Golf Digest.
"The case is complicated, but on the surface it involves shoddy police work, zero physical evidence linking Dixon, conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, the videotaped confession to the crime by another man, a public defender who didn’t call a witness at trial, and perjury charges against those who said Dixon didn’t do it. All together, a fairly clear instance of local officials hastily railroading a young black man with a prior criminal record into jail. Dixon’s past wasn’t spotless, he had sold some cocaine, but that didn’t make him a murderer."
A lot of the unjust and cruel treatment that Valentino has suffered throughout his 27 year long nightmare can easily be understood by going through the work of Phil Fairbanks at The Buffalo News and by Maurice Possley senior researcher at the National Registry of Exonerations. For now he awaits the result of a pending law suit against his accusers. His nightmare, partly continues, he says in the interview, the city ran out of money.
But do you think someone who's been exonerated, proved out to be right, and innocent of the crimes they said he committed, do you think that person can ever lead a normal life? Do you think they have destroyed that person’s life?
What's next for Valentino Dixon?