On Thursday, 2 April 2015, Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent almost 30 years on death row in Alabama for the 1985 murders of two fast-food managers, was exonerated and freed. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he had recieved inadequate representation at trial which violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. There were no eyewitness nor was there any concrete evidence tying Mr. Hinton to the murders, and the case against him primarly hinged on whether or not there was a match between bullets found on the scence of the crime and a gun found in Mr. Hinton's home. Unable to confirm a match, prosecuters declined to retry Mr. Hinton for the murders.
The Washington Post offers insights into how the case against Mr. Hinton fell apart:
Hinton’s lawyers with [Equal Justice Initiative] have long contended that their client was yet another example of a wrongfully convicted black man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. Hinton passed a polygraph test, but it was never admitted into evidence. And time and time again, despite witnesses testifying that they couldn’t link the bullets to Hinton, Alabama refused to re-consider his case.
“Race, poverty, inadequate legal assistance, and prosecutorial indifference to innocence conspired to create a textbook example of injustice,” Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, said in a written statement on Thursday. “I can’t think of a case that more urgently dramatizes the need for reform than what has happened to Anthony Ray Hinton.”
Read the full article: Alabama inmate free after three decades on death row. How the case against him unraveled
The NCADP has created the 90 Million Strong Campaign to unite the voices of those who believe the death penalty is wrong. We need to demonstrate that the broad public support to end this practice is already here in America, and 90 million people speaking up can make a difference.