Exonoree to speak at IU Law - Indy

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.