Exonoree to speak at IU Law - Indy

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Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon, who spent more than 17 years on Florida's death row before his exoneration, will speak about his experience Jan. 12 at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis. A documentary about his time on death row will also be shown.

Melendez-Colon will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the Conour Atrium at the law school. The documentary about his time on death row, "Juan Melendez 6446," will be shown at 4:30 p.m., also in the atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

Melendez-Colon is the 99th death row inmate in the country to be exonerated since 1973. He was released from prison in 2002 after it came to light that the real killer had confessed to the crime and told at least 16 people that Melendez-Colon wasn't involved. A judge reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, and the state declined to pursue a new trial because it no longer had any evidence to support a conviction. Previously, Melendez-Colon's conviction and death sentence were upheld on appeal three times by the Florida Supreme Court.

Since his release, Melendez-Colon has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe sharing his story. He's a board member on the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence, a steering committee member of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty, and an international spokesperson for the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted.

Also attending will be Melendez-Colon's lawyer, Judi Caruso, a criminal defense attorney and human rights activist originally from Ireland. She is also director of the Juan Melendez Voices United for Justice.

The event is sponsored by the IU School of Law - Indianapolis' Students Against Capital Punishment.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.