Death Row Survivor to Tour the Rio Grande Valley
"Witness to Injustice: A Speakers' Tour Featuring Death Row Survivor Juan
Roberto Melendez-Colon" will visit communities throughout the Rio Grande
Valley from November 8-12, 2009.
A native of Puerto Rico, Mr. Melendez spent 17 years, 8 months, and 1 day
on Florida's death row for a crime he did not commit.
He was exonerated and released from death row on January 3, 2002 after the
discovery of a long-forgotten transcript of a taped confession by the real
No physical evidence ever linked Mr. Melendez to the crime, and his
conviction and death sentence hinged on the testimony of two questionable
witnesses (one of those witnesses later recanted and the other is
Mr. Melendez will be visiting Texas at a critical time, as concerns about
the likely wrongful execution of Cameron Todd Willingham continue to call
into question the reliability and fairness of the state's death penalty
Since 1973, 138 people – including 10 Texans – have been exonerated from
death rows nationwide due to evidence of their wrongful conviction.
This tour is sponsored by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
(TCADP), the Diocese of Brownsville, Pax Christi Brownsville, Valley Civil
Rights Team, Pax Christi Rio Grande Valley, University of Texas-Pan
American Criminal Justice Department, People for Peace and Justice in the
Rio Grande Valley, and Witness to Innocence.
All events are free and open to the public.
Complete Schedule of Events
Sunday, November 8th: Weslaco & Brownsville
3:30-5:00PM: St. Pius X Parish; 600 S. Oklahoma Ave.; Weslaco, TX 78596.
956-968-7471. 7:00-9:00PM: El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church; 435 W.
Boca Chica; Brownsville, TX 78520. 956-542-4145.
Monday, November 9th: Weslaco & Edinburg
11:30 – 1:00PM: South Texas College – Mid-Valley Campus, 400 N. Border;
Weslaco, TX 78596. 956-447-6600.
4:00-5:30PM: University of Texas – Pan American; Room 101 Social and
Behavioral Science Building, (corner of Sugar and Van Week); Edinburg, TX
7:00-9:00PM: St. Joseph's Catholic Church; 122 W. Fay; Edinburg, TX 78539;
Tuesday, November 10th: Rio Grande City
10:00-11:00AM and 2:00-3:00PM: South Texas College – Starr County Campus,
142 FM 3167; Rio Grande City, TX 78582; 956-488-8181. The events will take
place in the auditorium. 6:00-8:00PM: Immaculate Conception Church; 101 E.
Third St.; Rio Grande City, 78582. 956-487-2317.
Wednesday, November 11th: Pharr & McAllen
8:30 AM: PSJA North High School – 500 E. Nolana Ave.; Pharr, TX
10:30 AM: PSJA High School – 805 Ridge Road; San Juan, TX
1:30 PM: Buell Central High School – 218 E. Juarez; Pharr, TX
4:00-6:00 PM: South Texas College – Pecan Campus; 3201 W. Pecan; McAllen,
TX 78501. The event will take place in the Rainbow Room, which is located
on the 2nd floor of the library. 956-872-8311.
Thursday, November 12th: San Juan
7:00PM-9:00PM: Diocese of Brownsville Pro-Life Apostolate at the San Juan
Diego Institute in San Juan
Details on all events are available here. More information about Juan
Melendez is available at Voices United 4 Justice.
For more information about the tour, please contact TCADP Executive
Director Kristin Houl (512) 441-1808 [office], (202) 494-3578 [cell], or
firstname.lastname@example.org or TCADP Rio Grande Valley Chapter Leader Sylvia Garza
email@example.com or (956) 475-4046).
(source: Valley Central News)