Surviving Alabama’s death row

racial justiceWhen he was 29, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of the murders of two fast-food managers in Birmingham, Alabama and sentenced to death row. He was finally freed in 2015 after serving 30 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now 61, he’s written a book about his experiences, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row. Hinton talked to Slate about his experience and his new book:
It didn’t matter that he had a good alibi. It didn’t matter that he passed a polygraph test. A racially biased prosecutor presenting faulty evidence that Hinton’s mother’s gun was used in the crimes, and aided by Hinton’s own contemptuous and incompetent defense counsel, won a conviction anyway.
Read more about Hinton and his new book at Slate.com.

Video: The racist roots behind the death penalty

death row“The death penalty in the South has roots in lynching,” says University of Virginia law professor and author Brandon Garrett. In a video interview at Salon, Garrett says “there’s a long, ugly history of racial bias in the American death penalty.” Garrett’s latest book is “End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice.” In it, Garrett explains what led to the decline of the death penalty, and how reforms could one day bring it to an end. Read more in this article at Salon.

What it’s like to spend 30 years on death row

Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row in Alabama for a crime he didn’t commit. Hinton says proposed changes to the state’s post-conviction procedures by the Alabama legislature would mean he would have been executed if they had been in place, despite his innocence. Hinton’s first-person account is available here at al.com.