Michael Mello Papers, 1800-2008, bulk 1970-2004
- Mello, Michael
- Michael A. Mello (1957-2008) was an internationally recognized authority on the death penalty and capital punishment issues. He was a lawyer, professor, and author. Michael Mello served as counsel or informal advisor to many significant cases, including Joseph Robert Crazy Joe Spaziano, Theodore Kaczynski, Theodore Bundy, Rolando Cruz, Alvin Ford, Stephen Todd Booker, and Robert Straight.
- 42.2 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Michael Mello Papers, 1800-2008. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Michael Mello Papers).
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- Scope and Content:
The collection includes material related to some of Michael Mello's more significant cases; including Joseph Crazy Joe Spaziano, Davidson James, Bennie Demps, and Nollie Lee Martin. Also included are drafts and complete copies of a number of Michael Mellos publications, research files used by Michael Mello in the various aspects of his professional life, case files for which Michael Mello may have been involved in some capacity. The majority of the material involves Michael Mello's professional life from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s.
Researchers should note that materials related to some of Michael Mello's most significant cases such as Theodore Bundy and Theodore Kaczynski is not included in this collection.
- Biographical / Historical:
Michael A. Mello (1957-2008) was an internationally recognized authority on the death penalty and capital punishment issues. He graduated from the University of Virginia, School of Law in 1982. From 1982-1983, he worked as a law clerk for Judge Robert S. Vance of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District where his principal responsibility included working on many of the capital cases for which the judge was assigned. From 1983-1985, he worked as an assistant public defender for the Capital Appeals Division of the Office of the Flordia Public Defender where he was lead cousel in three capital cases and active co-counsel in ten others as well as providing tactical and strategic assistance to pro bono attorneys, developing systemic strategies, lobbying, and testifying before the Florida Legislature . From 1985-1986, Mello worked for the Office of the Capital Collateral Representative for the State of Florida, a first-of-its-kind state agency charged with representing all indigient inmantes on Florida's death row whose sentences had been affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court and who had been denied executive clemency by the governor. Though he left his position at the Capital Collateral Respresentative in 1986, he remained on friendly terms with the organization where he provided advice and took the occasional case until 1995 when he cut off ties with the organization. From 1988 until his death in November 2008, Michael Mello was a professor of law at Vermont Law School where he taught courses on criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, the legal profession, and a capital punishment seminar.
Michael Mello served as counsel or informal advisor to many significant cases, including Joseph Robert Crazy Joe Spaziano, Theodore Kaczynski, Theodore Bundy, Rolando Cruz, Alvin Ford, Stephen Todd Booker, and Robert Straight. He also served as counsel for the American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, and others.
- Acquisition information:
Michael Mello and his wife Deanna donated these records to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives in a series of three acquisitions in 2006, 2012, and 2013.2006-2013
The collection is organized into eight topical series.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2015 by Jason Thomas.
- Death Penalty
Death row inmates--Florida
Capital punishment--United States
Legal research and writing
Capital punishment--United States--Cases
Executions (Law)--United States--Cases
Capital punishment--Moral and ethical aspects
Manuscripts (document genre)
- Mello, Michael
Martin, Nollie Lee