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.