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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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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