HAMDEN -- Juan Roberto Meléndez-Colón, who spent 17 years on Florida’s death row before being exonerated, will be sharing his tragic story and calling for repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Quinnipiac University.
Meléndez-Colón is among the 138 death row inmates in the U.S. to be exonerated based on innocence since 1973. He was convicted and sentenced in 1984 even though there was no physical evidence of any kind. After 16 long years, a transcript was found of the taped confession of the real killer. It was later determined that the prosecutor had withheld evidence.
“We must get rid of the death penalty because no matter how hard you try to fix the law, it is a human law, it is made and administered by humans and humans make mistakes,” Meléndez-Colón said. “Sooner or later a mistake will be made and an innocent person will be executed in Connecticut.”
Since his exoneration on Jan. 3, 2002, Meléndez-Colón has been sharing his story about what he says are the injustices of the death penalty.
“I can say with certainty that I was saved more by luck than because of the system,” Meléndez-Colón said. “My case was upheld three times on appeal by the Supreme Court of Florida and had it not been for what some call pure luck, or what I like to think of as miracles, the state of Florida would have killed me.”
Today, Meléndez-Colón is on the boards of Witness to Innocence and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. His story has been the subject of the documentary called "Juan Melendez 6446."
When: Tuesday, November 1st, 7:00pm
Where: Buckman Theater at Quinnipiac University
275 Mt. Carmel Ave., Hamden 06518
Labels: Juan Roberto Meléndez-Colón