A New York prison artist who never played golf in his life has become known for his drawing of a lush green golf course. Valentino Dixon has been behind the bars for 27 years for a crime he did not commit. Dixon was convicted in August 1991 shooting of a 17-year-old Torriano Jackson in Buffalo, New York. While he said he was innocent, he had to spend close to three decades in the notorious prison in upstate New York.
However, the artist in him was still alive. One of the prison wardens gave him a photograph of the fame Augusta National's 12 holes in the US state of Georgia and asked if he can draw it for him. While he has not seen a golf course, he drew a lush green course with his imagination. He spent around 10 hours every day creating different landscapes.
Here are his paintings:
“With an investigation @GolfDigest helped open, an Erie County court vacated Valentino Dixon's murder conviction after he had already served 27 years in jail.”
After he sent ~100 golf drawings to Golf Digest, they started to look into his case...
— Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) September 20, 2018
Talking about the shooting day Dixon was quoted as saying, "There was a fight. Shots were fired. I grabbed the gun from under the bench, switched it to automatic, all the bullets shot out. Unfortunately, Torriano ended up dying. I dropped the gun and ran and it was over and done with.''
Valentino Dixon was freed after 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. His case got attention when drawings he made of golf courses were featured in a magazine. Advocates looked into the evidence and finally got his conviction overturned when the real killer confessed. pic.twitter.com/jHMoN8vfdu
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 20, 2018
Golf Digest profiled his drawings and the case about six years ago. Following which various publications including the Georgetown University Prison Reform Project started a search into the circumstances around his conviction. The class worked on the case with Dixon's attorney, Donald Thompson, to have the conviction overturned. Although Dixon had exhausted all his appeals, the Erie County district's attorney's office revisited the evidence int he case.
On Wednesday, a judge accepted a guilty plea from another man who had confessed to the killing two days after it happened. He finally walked out of Erie County Court to his mother, daughter, friends and relatives. Dixon said he will keep drawing and work on behalf of other prisoners.