28 years on death row

Ray Hinton released after 28 years on death row in Alabama
Anthony Ray Hinton NBC News

This story is both tragic and uplifting.  Anthony Ray Hinton was released in April last year from death row in Alabama, USA having spent 28 years there for a crime he did not commit.  He was not present at the crime scene when the murder happened and had good alibis to prove it.  His mother had a gun but it did not match the one used in the murder.

The failures inherent in the US justice system, especially in the southern states, are fully described in Clive Stafford Smith’s book Injustice (Vintage, 2013).  Clive is founder of Reprieve.  He describes the low rates of pay for defence lawyers, elected prosecutors keen to convince the electorate that they are tough on crime, the lack of access to police material (disclosure) which means that information which disproves their case is not revealed until after the trial, and so on.  We hope to publish a longer review of this important book soon.

His release depended on finding a good lawyer and the work of the Equal Justice Network.

In this Guardian piece Ray describes his experiences after leaving which included looking up at the stars, standing in the rain and sleeping on a full length bed.

We publish a review of the use of the death penalty around the world and the latest issue is here.

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