Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit. He was exonerated and freed in April 2015. The Equal Justice Initiative, which appealed his case for years, says that Ray, which is the name he goes by, was “One of the longest-serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and among the longest-serving condemned prisoners to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence.”
He was convicted of killing two fast-food restaurant managers in the course of a robbery in 1985, even though there were no eyewitnesses or fingerprint evidence, and Ray was working in a locked warehouse, 15 miles away at the time of the crime.
EJI founder Bryan Stevenson and other EJI attorneys worked for 16 years on his case, and in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction, and at his new trial in 2015, the judge dismissed the charges against him after prosecutors admitted that the gun that was used in the robbery didn’t match the gun they found in Ray’s house.
When Ray walked out of prison, he said to his supporters gathered around to greet him, “The sun does shine.” And that’s the title of his memoir, which will be released next Tuesday, March 27.
Buy your copy here or here. You’ll be so glad you did. Just reading the words of a man who had every right and reason to give up but refused to do so, and instead kept his honor and integrity through the decades of years he was wrongly imprisoned, will inspire you and renew your faith in the human spirit.