Saint Martin’s social justice lecture focuses on death penalty
Juan Melendez, exonerated death row inmate, discusses his experiences
September 18, 2008
Lacey, Washington—Saint Martin’s University will
begin its 2008-2009 Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series with
the first of four lectures on Friday, October 3, at 4 p.m. in Spangler
Hall on the University’s main campus, 5300 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey,
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.
The Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series
was created by Saint Martin’s University Associate Professor of Criminal
Justice Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., to raise awareness of social
justice issues within the community and to honor the work of Robert A.
Harvie, J.D., former professor and chair of the Department of Criminal
Justice at Saint Martin’s University.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent
four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre
wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only
one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares
students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate
programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering.
Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 student from many ethnic and religious
backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension
campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base,
Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.
For additional information:
Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D.
Saint martin’s University
Saint Martin’s University