Freed death row inmate will speak at Penn State Beaver

march, 26, 2012 source :


the public is invited to attend a free presentation by Juan Melendez at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the auditorium of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building.

Melendez was imprisoned on death row in Florida for almost 18 years until his conviction was overturned and he was released in 2002. Upon his release, Melendez became the United States’ 99th death row inmate to be exonerated and released since 1973. 

In his presentation, Melendez will discuss his story of injustice and wrongful imprisonment on death row as one of many problems pervasive throughout the nation’s legal system and will describe the high rate of wrongful convictions based on poverty, race, and ethnicity.

Melendez will also share how he survived his experiences while imprisoned and how he maintained his spirit while he and others worked to free him.

Since his release, he has spoken here and abroad about the crisis of wrongful imprisonment, especially on death row, and his story has been reported in French, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic.

The administration of justice program and the Beaver campus Student Activity Fee are sponsoring the presentation as part of the Unique Perspectives for Selecting Your Career Path Speaker Series.

For information, contact Larissa Ciuca, student personal and career counselor, at or 724-773-3961 or LaVarr McBride, instructor in administration of justice at Beaver, Penn State New Kensington, and Penn State Shenango, or 724-773-3866.


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