Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series
Friday, October 3, 2008 at 4:00 p.m., Worthington
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.