Juan Melendez

Juan MelendezState of Conviction: Florida

Race: Latino

Wrongful Conviction: Murder

Exonerated Date: 2002

Years Served: 17

Juan Roberto Meléndez-Colón spent was exonerated from death row after serving 17 years behind bars. The victim was Delbert Baker, who was brutally murdered. Juan, who could not afford an attorney, was convicted and sentenced to death within a week, even though there was no physical evidence against him. Had it not been for the discovery of a transcript of the taped confession of the real killer 16 years after Juan was sentenced to death, he almost certainly would have been executed. Ultimately, it came to light that the prosecutor had systematically withheld exculpatory evidence.

Source: Witness to Innocence

Read more about Juan’s story here.