Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series
Friday, October 3, 2008 at 4:00 p.m., Worthington Center
Juan Roberto Melendez, the 99th person to be
exonerated of a crime and released from a U. S. death row since the
Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, will discuss the
death penalty as a form of punishment in the United States. Admission is
free and open to the public.
Juan Roberto Melendez spent nearly 18 years on
Florida’s death row until he was released based on evidence of innocence
in 2002. He had been convicted Delbert Baker’s murder and sentenced to
death. His conviction and death sentence were upheld on appeal three
times before a taped confession from the real killer was discovered and
introduced. Mr. Melendez’s lecture will highlight the problems with the
death penalty, including the risk of executing the innocent, its unfair
and unequal imposition based on race and ethnicity, and the
disproportionate sentencing of society’s poor.