Dalton trying to rebuild life
Imagine spending seven and a half years in prison and another four years fighting for your freedom in a courtroom. Then one day it's all over. You're free to go - free to get on with the rest of your life. What then? That's the question Ronald Dalton is asking himself these days.
"I've chosen to come back here where people know what went on," says Dalton, "You can't explain it away. You can't ignore it. Anyone, certainly locally, if I apply for work, are gonna recognize the face, or the name, or both."
There was a time when Ronald Dalton was a household name. A bank manager first found guilty of the 1998 murder of his wife, then acquitted in a new trial.
On June 24th, 2000, Ron Dalton walked away - away from 12 years of legal limbo and back into the real world. "I would like to keep it as simple as finding something productive to do for the next 25 years, and spend some more time with my family," says Dalton.
Two of his children are adults now. David is the youngest. He's thirteen. He and his father live downtown in a St. John's boarding house. Welfare pays the rent. "As for making a living, I haven't done that for twelve years," says Dalton, "I haven't needed to for ten of those years 'cause I was in prison. That means social assistance - an existence rather than a living."
So how do you explain that at a job interview? "I think anyone who hires me will have to understand where I came from and why I haven't been around for a dozen years," says Dalton, "and maybe they're looking for someone with a different set of experiences than most other people out there looking for work."
At home he's busy putting the past twelve years on paper, getting ready for another round with the Newfoundland Department of Justice. After 12 years Ron Dalton isn't quite ready to let go yet. Dalton says, "I'm still considering my options as far as a civil suit and requesting a public inquiry from the government, looking into my wrongful conviction. A little retroactive justice is what I'm looking for. I'm not gonna get back those last twelve years."
In the meantime, Ron Dalton keeps looking, keeps hoping someone out there will take a chance on a 44 year old with a big hole in his resume.