Louisiana native Moreese Bickham, 91, the oldest survivor of Death Row, whose 1958 death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, will be in Portland on Jan. 19 and 20. He is appearing at the MLK Celebrations at Highland Christian Church and at The First Unitarian Church.
He will be accompanied by Joan Cheever, author of "Back From the Dead: One Woman's Search for the Men Who Walked Off America's Death Row" (John Wiley & Sons 2006). Bickham's story is included in Cheever's book.
Bickham spent 14 years on Louisiana's Death Row and was incarcerated for 38 years, before his January 1996 release after the Governor of Louisiana commuted his sentence. He now spends his days fishing near his home in Southern Oregon.
He was released from Angola, once described as "the bloodiest prison in America." While on Death Row from 1958 to 1972, he had seven execution dates; on one date, he came within 14 hours of execution.