LIFE ON DEATH ROW

04/03/03

Juan Melendez was 33 years old when he was convicted of murder in Polk County. A farm worker from Puerto Rico, he spoke almost no English and was convicted on the testimony of a police informant. There was no physical evidence linking him to the murder. After spending nearly 18 years on Florida's death row his attorneys uncovered evidence that the testimony which convicted him was false and that prosecutors had covered up the exculpatory evidence. He was freed from prison last year. In this interview Melendez discussed life on death row, prison conditions, prosecutorial misconduct and his successful effort to remain positive throughout the ordeal.

Also on this segment: Abe Bonowitz of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty talked about changes the state legislature is proposing in hiring attorneys for people on death row as well as efforts to protect minors from execution.

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