Anthony Ray Hinton an innocent man on death row for 30 years was finally released. He was charged for robbery, assault and murder in two restaurant theft cases in 1985.
On Friday, April 3, he was finally released on the account that there wasn’t enough evidence to sustain his guilt. His lawyers from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) gave very good arguments which convinced Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Laura Petro to lift all the charges against Mr. Hinton.
Chief lawyer Bryan Stevenson expressed his satisfaction with the results by saying:
“We are thrilled that Mr. Hinton will finally be released because he has unnecessarily spent years on Alabama’s death row when evidence of his innocence was clearly presented.”
Anthony Hinton was 29 when the crimes occurred.
After being freed he explained that the worst thing was not that prosecution took him away from his loved ones but that they wanted to execute him for a crime he did not commit.
Mr. Hinton was arrested for supposedly killing two restaurant managers during an armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. According to the EJI, police did not identify any eyewitnesses or fingerprints that could point out to Mr. Hinton’s involvement.
In the same year, there was another armed robbery at a different restaurant. The manager was shot and had to be hospitalized due to serious injuries. He later identified Mr. Hinton as the suspect although at the time of the crime, he was working 24 kilometers away.
Police confiscated a gun belonging to Mr. Hinton’s mother and accused him of having used it to commit the crimes.
This time, forensic experts, including an ex-FBI agent analyzed the confiscated weapon. All of them reached the same conclusion – that this wasn’t the gun used in the crimes.
Mr. Stevenson considers that one of the reasons he was convicted was his race, as he is of African American ethnicity. He continued by naming “poverty, inadequate legal assistance and prosecutorial indifference to innocence” as additional factors that contributed to this injustice.
During all those years in prison, Mr. Hinton always sustained his innocence.
Anthony Ray Hinton is the 152nd detainee on death row to have been cleared of charges since 1973 and the second since the beginning of 2015.
Image Source: Al.com