Anthony Ray Hinton Released After Almost 30 Years On Death Row
After almost 30 years on death row, Anthony Ray Hinton was released from prison today after the prosecution dropped the charges. Family and friends sobbed and rushed to hug Anthony Ray Hinton as he walked out of the jail in downtown Birmingham free man. Hinton been imprisoned since he was convicted of murdering two men in 1985.
At 58, he has spent the majority of his life awaiting death in a 5 by 8 cell.
“They just didn’t take me from my family and friends,” Hinton told the crowd assembled for his release. “They had every intention of executing me for something I didn’t do.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Hinton a new trial. And new ballistic testing showed the bullets at the crime scene didn’t match bullets found in Hinton’s house. This week prosecutors decided not to retry the case.
Hinton says he has always prayed for the families of the victims who have also been denied justice.
“His case, in my judgment, is a case study in what’s wrong with our system,” said Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. “He was convicted because he’s poor. We have a system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent and his case proves it. We have a system that is compromised by racial bias and his case proves it.” EJI represented Hinton.
Outside the jail, Hinton’s sister, Elizabeth Hinton, says their mother always maintained he was innocent and prayed he would be released. And though she’s not alive to see it, she was right.
Man On Death Row For Almost 30 Years Will Be Freed
A man on Alabama’s death row for almost 30 years will be freed tomorrow Friday, April 3, after a judge dismissed the case. Prosecutors say the evidence that tied the man to two murders is not reliable. Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted and sentenced to death for killing two managers at Birmingham fast-food restaurants during […]
What’s In Alabama’s Prison Reform Bill?
Alabama’s prison reform bill was approved today by a 31-2 vote in the Alabama Senate. The bill contains major changes to the state’s sentencing and probation rules with the goal of reducing prison over-crowding. Alabama’s prisons are currently at almost 200 percent capacity. The bill was crafted by the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force with the help of The Council of State Governments, a nonprofit that works with policymakers across the country. WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley spoke with Andy Barbee, research manager with The Council of State Governments about some of the most important policy changes in the Alabama Justice Reinvestment Act and how Alabama’s challenges rank nationally.
Life After Prison: Victims Face Tough Road Too
All this week in our series Life After Prison we’ve been exploring the challenges inmates face rebuilding their lives after serving their sentences. It’s part of a reporting project in partnership with AL.com and the Center for Investigative Reporting. But for every prisoner there’s a victim and often victims face a tough road. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager explores this through one crime victim’s experience.
How Prison Shaped a Woman’s Career Path
For 10 years of her adult life, Jamie Faust was in and out of county jail and federal prison. In 2012 she entered Julia Tutwiler’s Prison for Women as an HIV positive inmate. At the time, HIV inmates were segregated from the general population. She tells WBHM’s Sarah Delia that living with HIV in prison wasn’t easy, but the experience pushed her to follow a career path she might not have otherwise.
Life After Prison: Ex-Felons Often Struggle to Find a Job
Throughout the week, WBHM is reporting on the hurdles ex-felons face once they’re released from prison. One of the primary challenges they face is finding stable employment. In addition to the external struggles ex-felons face when looking for work, many also grapple with internal ones, like drug addiction or mental health issues. But, issues aside, ex-offenders need a job to provide for their basic needs, in addition to money required to pay court expenses and restitution.
The long path back to a normal life begins with whether or not an employer will give ex-offenders a chance. For WBHM News, Les Lovoy has more.