Exploring the complexities of justice

Wrongly accused of murder, Juan Melendez spent over 17 years on death row and received only $100 compensation for his suffering. His story disrupts idealistic notions regarding our legal system’s dealings in justice.

Melendez will share his story on Nov. 9 as the keynote speaker of the sixth annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty.  Hosted by Integrated Studies and Peace and Justice Studies, the symposium will explore the question, “What does justice require?”

Other perspectives will be heard from Weber State University Criminal Justice Professor LaVarr McBride, whose 26-year involvement in corrections found him working as a guard on death row; Ralph Dellapiana, former public defender and founder of Utahans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; and New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker, self-proclaimed retributivist death penalty advocate.

In preparation for the symposium, the film Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead will be shown on Nov. 8. The film follows Blecker as he develops an unexpected relationship with Tennessee death row inmate Daryl Holton, who shot his four children to death in 1997.

The film and symposium will be held in LI 120. Both events are open to anyone looking to delve into the issues surrounding justice and capital punishment. For more information, visit www.UVU.edu/is/symposium

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