Tuesday, October 31, 2006

American dream became American nightmare

Cheri Perkins Mantz, with Matthew Ryno, reports in our Catholic Herald on Juan Melendez's appearance at Marquette University to speak against the death penalty. Mr. Melendez spent 17 years on death row in Florida after being convicted of murder. He was later exonerated.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, but raised in Puerto Rico, Melendez dropped out of school after ninth grade, a decision he calls his worst mistake. He moved to the United States at 18 and began work in Delaware as a migrant worker, picking fruit.

"I migrated to the United States to make a better life," he said. "I was in search of the American dream, instead, unfortunately, I lived the American nightmare."

Others found it did no harm to Melendez's story to give a more complete picture. Our Herald's "American Dream" angle required omitting Melendez's prior bank robbery conviction.


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