Near-Deadly Error: An interview with exonerated death row inmate Juan Melendez-Colon
It is hard to imagine spending over 17 years on death row for a crime you did not commit. Juan Melendez-Colon did just that following his 1984 conviction and sentencing to death in the killing of Auburndale, FL beauty salon owner Delbert Baker. The facts of his case - involving recanting witnesses, withheld evidence, and a real killer who confessed to several people - raise once again the need for Americans to ask themselves whether real justice is served by capital punishment in a system so fraught with error.
This week, Jo Ann and Dave talk with Juan Melendez-Colon about his experiences on Florida's death row and his subsequent work with Witness to Innocence, the nation's only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. Also joining the conversation will be attorney Mark Kramer to talk about Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and why he thinks change may be in the wind for Oregon's death penalty.
Join co-hosts Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza every Thursday as they bring you guests and lively discussion of issues of importance to you. Every week, Voices from the Edge provides Oregonians with a place to talk about racial disparity, police accountability, gentrification, environmental justice, peace and other issues affecting your life.
Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action, and a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has reported and been involved in Portland's civil rights, peace, labor and environmental movements for over 17 years.