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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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