“innocence” is people too…

for most of us innocence is an issue – not the only issue but clearly THE issue… in fact it is likely an empirical reality that when framing a death penalty discussion around innocence that we do not readily trigger “cognitive dissonance” in death penalty supporters

last night in nashville i was reminded that innocence is more than an issue – it’s people too…

i went to the airport and picked up my friend juan roberto melendez who came to tennessee to do presentation at the university of the south on march 8th and participate in a panel with yours truly, regina hockett, and a couple of others on march 9th …

and i sprang an unplanned event on juan – the monthly tcask nashville meeting … we had 15 people present including 3 high school students, 2 university students, and 2 scottish-brits in the mix …

and juan is a wonderful storyteller — he blew me away emotionally, once again, and it’s the 7th or 8th i’ve listened to him —

now juan was on death row for 17 years, 8 months, and 1 day … and, as the saying goes, was released in spite of the system, not because of the system … and consider the collateral damage on his mother who prayed every day to g_d to please release her innocent son from death row and who now prays for nothing except to say thank you, thank you, thank you each and every day…

so next time some one responds that the system just doesn’t work quickly enough, that that’s the problem, invoke mama melendez and remember that her son juan roberto is alive by fiat, miracle, happenstance, precisely because the death penalty system is deeply flawed as are the people whose job it is to administer it…

innocence is a great frame, a great issue, but never ever forget that innocence is people too…

peace out – <3

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