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Anthony Ray Hinton    

Former Wrongfully-Convicted Prisoner Held on Death Row for 30 Years

Anthony Ray Hinton was released in April 2015 after spending 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he did not commit. He was released with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative, of which he is now an employee. He serves as EJI’s Community Educator and travels both nationally and internationally to speak about his experience.

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, Mr. Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1983. Thirty years ago, Mr. Hinton was arrested and charged with two capital murders based solely on the assertion that a revolver taken from his mother’s home was the gun used in both murders and in a third uncharged crime. EJI attorneys engaged three of the nation’s top firearms examiners, who testified in 2002 that the revolver could not be matched to crime evidence. State prosecutors never questioned the new findings but nonetheless refused to re-examine the case or concede error.

After 12 more years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the lower courts, and a new trial was granted. The judge finally dismissed the charges after prosecutors said that scientists at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences tested the evidence and confirmed that the crime bullets cannot be matched to the Hinton weapon. Anthony Ray Hinton was released.

He has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences over the last two and half years and is an incredibly compelling speaker and powerful advocate for changes to the criminal justice system. More information about his story is available here. His inspirational memoir, The Sun Does Shine, How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row was released March 27, 2018. In June 2018, Oprah chose The Sun Does Shine for her Book Club.

Speech Topics

Surviving Criminal Justice in America

Anthony Ray Hinton, death row exoneree, will share his story of wrongful conviction, survival on Alabama's death row, and decades-long journey to exoneration and freedom. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of the unsolved murders of two fast-food restaurant managers based on the testimony of ballistics experts for the State who claimed that the crime bullets came from a dusty revolver found in Mr. Hinton's mother’s closet. Without the benefit of a competent expert to challenge the State’s ballistics experts, an all-white jury convicted Mr. Hinton and he was sentenced to death. After years of petitioning to have the revolver re-analyzed, three independent experts concluded that the bullets could not have been fired from that revolver, and that they could not even have all been fired from a single gun. Mr. Hinton is now free after 30 years, and will join us to share his story and discuss the changes that need to be made to prevent these kinds of injustices from happening to other innocent people.


Oprah and Anthony Ray Hinton on death row, first night of freedom ...

After revealing her new book club pick, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row" by Anthony Ray Hinton, Oprah Winfrey and Hinton  ...

Wrongfully convicted man opens up on life on death row for 30 years ...

As part of the “Settle For More” series, Anthony Ray Hinton opens up on Megyn Kelly TODAY about his wrongful conviction for murder, his time on death row and  ...

‘I Didn’t Go to Prison. I Went to Death Row,’ Says Wrongly Convicted Anthony Ray Hinton

Hinton spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, becoming one of the longest serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and was later exonerated. His book “The Sun Does Shine” is a national bestseller.

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