Juan Melendez, an innocent man who spent more than 17 years on death row for a crime he did not commit, will be coming to Corpus Christi, Texas June 25-26 to attend the 2010 Texas Democratic Party State Convention and to speak at the meeting of "Democrats Against the Death Penalty" at 1 PM on Friday, June 25. The meeting will be in room 225 D-E of the American Bank Center. The party is expecting more than 5,000 delegates, alternates and guests to attend the state convention.
Juan is traveling to Texas with the assistance of Witness to Innocence, which is the nation’s only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. These individuals are actively engaged in the struggle to end the death penalty, challenging the American public to grapple with the problem of a fatally flawed criminal justice system that sends innocent people to death row.
Members of Texas Moratorium Network started the "Democrats Against the Death Penalty" caucus in 2004. In 2008, more than 300 people attended the caucus meeting at the state convention. In 2004, the Texas Democratic Party endorsed a moratorium on executions in the party platform. In 2008, the Resolutions Committee at the state convention approved a resolution in support of abolishing the death penalty in Texas, but the resolution was not voted on by the floor of the convention before adjournment.