Anthony Ray Hinton Released from Death Row for a Crime He Didn’t Commit


Anthony Ray Hinton, 58,  on Friday became a free man after nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he did not commit.

Hinton was happy to be out of prison but angry because it took so long for Alabama officials to test evidence that would have freed decades earlier or never led to charges against him.

“They had every intention of executing me for something I didn’t do,” said Hinton after walking out of the Jefferson County in Birmingham, where he was released.

Thirty years ago police arrested and charged Hinton with two capital murders, based on the assertion that a revolver taken from his mother’s home was used in both murders and also in a third uncharged crime, according to the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative, which worked to free him.

Equal Justice Initiative attorneys hired three of the nation’s top firearms examiners. They found in 1999 and testified in 2002 the revolver did not match crime evidence.

For more than 15 years, EJI attorneys repeatedly asked state officials to re-examine the evidence in the case, but former Jefferson County District Attorney David Barber and Attorneys General from Troy Green to Luther Strange, all failed to do so.

After the United States Supreme Court reversed lower court rulings, a judge ordered a new trial.

The Jefferson County, Ala., District Attorney’s office conducted tests on the .38-caliber revolver taken from the home of Hinton’s mother. They confirmed that the crime’s bullets could not be matched to Hinton’s weapon or to a single gun. Alabama then moved to dismiss the charges against Hinton.

“The State of Alabama let me down tremendously,” Hinton said.”I have no respect for the prosecutors, the judges. And I say that not with malice in my heart. I say it because they took 30 years from me.”

Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1973, the second in 2015,  and the sixth from Alabama, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

One Comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *