]]>HomeContact UsInnocenceLinksPress ReleasesFL Execution InformationFactsGet InvolvedLocal GroupsReportsDP in the NewsU.S. Execution InformationYes Florida, There is an ALTERNATIVE to the Death PenaltyJuan Roberto Melendez Colon“This should not happen to anyone…” Please click on image for larger view.
Juan Roberto Melendez Colon became the 24th person exonerated and released from Florida’s death row when he was freed on January 3, 2002 after spending almost 18 years facing execution for a crime he had nothing to do with. Melendez was convicted in 1984 at the age of 33 with no physical evidence linking him to the crime and testimony from questionable witnesses. In fact, prosecutors hid evidence and lied to the court in order to protect the real killer, a police informant. Melendez’s conviction fell apart when the police informant’s confession came to light in 1999 – a confession that prosecutors knew about before they took Melendez to trial. Of course, the state of Florida refuses to apologize or admit wrongdoing, and gave Melendez the same thing it gives every prisoner when they leave prison – $100. (Hardy Pickard, the lead prosecutor in Melendez’ case, is still working as a State’s Attorney in Polk County, Florida.)
Known to his friends as “Johnny,” Melendez was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Puerto Rico, where he currently lives. Since his release, Melendez spends a lot of time giving presentations about his experiences. He can be contacted c/o Floridans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty at [email protected] or 800-973-6548.
Juan Melendez will be in Florida from October 20 to 31. As of September 11, the schedule is wide open. We plan to be in the north part of the state first, and then in the southern part starting by the 24th. To invite Juan to speak with your group, please email [email protected] or call 800-973-6548
Click here for more background on Juan Melendez. A legal summary of his case and news articles from when he was releasedClick here to read more about Florida’s many death row exonerations
Contribute to FADP’s Exonerated Prisoner Relief Fund! Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
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