TV is still arguably one of the most influential media on public opinion. We consider the almost monthly exonerations that are happening nationwide indications of a governmental willingness shifting towards accepting new science. TV shows are acknowledging this movement and presenting it to the public. Just in the next week, three shows will profile numerous exonerees, including our very own William Michael Dillon.
On Sunday, December 9, CBS’s “60 Minutes” is scheduled to air a piece examining the exonerations of the “Dixmoor Five” and the “Englewood Four,” two Chicago-area cases where juvenile defendants were wrongfully convicted of rape and murder largely on the basis of false confessions. The cases were handled jointly by the Innocence Project, the Center on Wrongful Convictions, the University of Chicago Law School Exoneration Project and cooperating private attorneys. The piece will likely also explore the resistance by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to the free the young men even though there was compelling DNA evidence pointing to other men with violent criminal histories in both of the cases.
On Monday, December 10 at 9 p.m. (EST) on Investigation Discovery’s new show “I Didn’t Do It” will highlight Dillon’s story.”I Didn’t Do It” is a six episode series that covers one case per episode. This episode will explain how the police made Dillon a suspect, the court wrongfully convicted him, and how the justice system resisted his release.
BET aired its first episode of its weekly show, “Vindicated,” this past Tuesday. This will air every Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. (EST). This Tuesday, Dec. 11, it will continue to cover the story of exoneree Tim Cole, who it began talking about in its premiere episode. Cole served in the military and was a student at Texas Tech when he was wrongfully convicted. He died in prison in 1999, so his family, friends, and involved law enforcement and legal teams speak about his story on the show. “Vindicated” will cover the stories of Herman Atkins, Darryl Hunt, Arthur Carmona, Thomas Haynesworth, Timothy Atkins, Charles Chatman, and Joyce Ann Brown in episodes through Jan. 22.