How Golf Saved Valentino Dixon

Adam Xiao, Editor-in-Chief, News and Sports


After 27 years in prison, a golf enthusiast walks free.

Valentino Dixon, 48 years of age, was serving 39-years-to-life sentence for the 1991 killing of Torriano Jackson. A large majority of his sentence time was spent in the infamous Attica Correctional Facility in New York.

6 years ago, Golf Digest wrote an article on Valentino Dixon, an inmate who crafted beautiful designs of golf courses and their famous holes.

One hundred drawings later, Golf Digest noticed his conviction was sketchy. Golf Digest decided to dig deep and investigate his case.

The case was certainly complex, but a combination of conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, subpar police involvement, and zero physical evidence linking Dixon to the crime made it appear that Dixon’s conviction was the result of local officials deciding to quickly lock up a young black man (Dixon’s past did include selling cocaine) into jail.

Dixon, now free, stated he would head to Red Lobster for a meal with his family and later to a park. His plans for the future include visiting his grandmother, buying a phone, and registering for a passport (so he will be able to visit his wife, who resides in Australia).

Maybe he’ll even get a set of clubs and play on courses he’s drawn.


A sample of Dixon’s masterpieces