Where do you start to describe the emotions of the last week? For Derrick Williams, his family and the staff at IPF, the descriptions begin with joy, quickly turning to consternation, then determination and then back to joy and elation as Derrick became the 13th Florida DNA exoneree and the 268th nationwide.
One week ago today we learned that Judge Marc Gilner had issued his ruling and overturned Derrick’s convictions. Within 24 hours, our joy was crushed as we learned the State Attorneys Office had decided to appeal the ruling. You can read Seth’s blogs about these events, here, here and here. However, yesterday – Monday April 4th – there was an amazing turn of events. We received a phone call from the SAO telling us that they had decided not to appeal and they were dropping all charges. That meant Derrick would be released immediately. However, he was at Hardee Correctional Institution – a 6.5 hour drive from Tallahassee.
Derrick was released on Monday night from Hardee and an 18-year long nightmare into the arms of his family, particularly his son and grandson, with his attorneys at his side. You can read more about his release here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.