Exonerated Death Row Inmate to Speak at Pitzer College

CLAREMONT, Calif. (March 23, 2005) — Juan Melendez, a man exonerated from Death Row, will be speaking at Pitzer College at 1:15 and 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 28.

Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon spent 17 years, eight months and one day on Florida's Death Row for a crime he did not commit. Upon his release on Jan. 3, 2002, he became the 99th death row inmate in the country to be exonerated and released since 1973.

There was no physical evidence ever linking Melendez to the crime and his conviction and death sentence hinged on the testimony of two questionable witnesses. Melendez is now a board member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Journey of Hope . . . From Violence to Healing.

He has spoken at numerous conventions, conferences and symposiums, including the Second World Congress Against the Death Penalty, in Montreal, Canada, October 2004; the national LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) convention in San Antonio, July 2004; and the Capital Defense Seminar, Monterey, March 2004. He also has spoken at several law schools and speaks regularly to sociology, political science and criminal justice classes.

Melendez will give two talks that are open to the Claremont Colleges' students, faculty, staff, and the general public. He will speak at 1:15 pm in Room 204 in the Gold Student Center and at 6:30 pm in the Broad Performance Space of the Edythe and Eli Broad Center.

The talks are free of charge.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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