Death Penalty Expert Michael Mello Dies

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Vermont Law School Professor Michael Mello, a well-known national expert on the death penalty, died at his home over the weekend after a short illness. He was 51.

“He was my colleague for 20 years,” Professor Joan Vogel told the Rutland Herald. “It hasn’t really sunk in to me that he isn’t here anymore.”

Vogel said Mello worked tirelessly to point out mistakes made in the criminal justice system. “He had a wonderful sense of irony and humor and to do the kind of work he did, you had to have that,” Vogel added.

In a statement about his death, Dean Jeff Shields described Mello, author of The Wrong Man, as “a prolific writer on the death penalty and criminal law matters.” Shields added, “I will remember him especially for his mentoring friendship for students and his willingness to contribute in myriad ways to the life of Vermont Law School outside the classroom.”

Mello, who lived in White River Junction, is survived by his wife Deanna.

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