Anthony Ray Hinton is free at last after 30 years on death row

Anthony Ray Hinton is free at last after 30 years on death row. The Washington Post reports,

Anthony Ray Hinton was one of Alabama’s longest-serving death row inmates, having spent more than half his life incarcerated. Now, after three decades of insisting that he is innocent in the 1985 murders of two men, the 58-year-old Hinton is finally a free man.

“The sun does shine,” Hinton said just after his release from jail on Friday, according to

His freedom came down to the same four bullets that put him in jail to begin with.

“I shouldn’t have (sat) on death row for 30 years,” he told reporters according to CNN. “All they had to do was to test the gun.”

He added: “Everybody that played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God.”

Hinton was convicted of two separate killings of restaurant workers — the Feb. 25, 1985, slaying of John Davidson, and the July 2, 1985, killing of Thomas Vason — even though there were no eyewitnesses linking Hinton to the crimes, no fingerprints linking him to the scene, and no other physical evidence except for the questionable link between a set of bullets and a gun found in Hinton’s home.

Subsequent tests of the only physical evidence in the case raised serious doubts about whether the weapon in Hinton’s home had fired those bullets — and it even called into question whether the bullets were all fired from the same gun.

Why was he convicted, you ask? His lawyer thought he was limited to spending $1,000 to hire an expert, so he hired a civil engineer who was blind in one eye, could not handle a microscope and did not know much about ballistics. Needless to say, he did not fare well on cross examination.

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) unanimously vacated his conviction and death sentence last year and remanded the case to the trial court to hold a hearing to determine if his lawyer’s failure to provide effective assistance of counsel prejudiced his defense. He was granted a new trial and on Wednesday prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that three ballistics experts could not link the bullets to the gun.

Thanks to one of my heroes, Bryan Stevenson, Anthony Ray Hinton is free at last.

23 Responses to Anthony Ray Hinton is free at last after 30 years on death row

    • Malisha says:

      I suspect that the majority of these convictions should go down in the statistics as “white on black crime.”

      • girlp says:

        Yes it should, I read one story on this link where an AA man was arrested for rape because the victim said the rapist said he was with a white woman and the policeman knew the wrongly convicted man was in a relationship with a white woman….that’s it that was evidence. Beyond sad

  1. Malisha says:

    Predictably, the post-mortem attack on Walter Scott has been launched. He was “arrested.” He was “jailed.” What they omit is the fact that he was never charged, indicted OR CONVICTED. So it looks very much like the kind of harassment Black men in Ferguson had to tolerate constantly, and it looks like they never had anything on him, really, or he’d have been in prison by the time Slager murdered him.

  2. Malisha says:

    One of the Out-House thugs has “analyzed” the video of the murder of Walter Scott to pronounce that poor Slager was tazed (or in fear of being tazed) by Scott. He claims that the video shows that the tazer wire was in Slager’s chest and then was pulled out as Scott ran away. But no explanation of Slager’s inexplicable failure to mention that he had been tazed, during the two-day period before the video surfaced! The “Out-House” gang now believe they have a game-changer.

    Of course, any sort of bullcrap can be a game-changer if the game is rigged. Let’s see how they manage this one.

    • I’ve seen the video and it doesn’t show what that fool claims. Ridiculous.

      And you’re right. He certainly would have mentioned it, but never did. Instead, you can hear him on the dashcam video tell his Sgt that he’s pumped on adrenaline from the shooting and then he laughs.

      Alternate unreality over there.

  3. Malisha says:

    They would not let Anthony Ray Hinton go to his mother’s funeral.


  4. Malisha says:

    Predictably, Geraldo has a reason to say it was not murder, but only manslaughter, because of “resisting arrest.” It looks, however, like it was the TASER TASER TASER (which Slager shouted as he chased after Scott, obviously to administer punishment) that Scott was trying to resist, NOT arrest. What reason would there be to taser a man already on the ground? ONE REASON: “I’m gonna teach this guy a lesson.” “TASER TASER TASER” was also the reason there had previously been a complaint against Slager in the police department, which they did not deal with (except to cover it up). Scott probably wouldn’t have shot Scott in the back and planted the taser if Scott had been docile enough and stoically endured being tasered a few times by the angry cop; his attempt to avoid torture led to his being murdered. Geraldo wants to justify it as “NOT MURDER” because it’s in the terms of his contract — with the devil to whom he sold his worthless soul years back.

  5. girlp says:

    Some news programs said the second cop (Habersham) is Slagers partner. Habersham did not report much of anything. It appears no one tried to give Scott any medical aid (from the video).

  6. Malisha says:

    I am wondering about the second cop to appear on the scene after Slager killed Scott. Slager, of course, cuffed Scott rather than giving him first-aid, and then left the dying man to go pick up something (“something”? I bet it was something a little more significant than “something”), so in Scott’s dying moments the officer absented himself rather than calling for an ambulance and trying to save Scott’s life. That is an additional serious crime, of course. But the second cop to come on the scene: Who is that cop? What statement did that cop make? What did that cop see? What was the issue with the “something” that Slager transported while Scott died?

  7. Malisha says:

    WOAH — I believe the video of the killing of unarmed Black man Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina shows the killer cop actually doubling back (while his victim, handcuffed, bleeds out on the ground) to get his taser and then running over to plant the taser near the body to try to show that “he took my taser” was the reason for the killing.

    The video was taken by someone who (thank god!) was smart enough not to let anybody know what he had recorded, and who managed to get the video and keep it away from the cover-up specialists long enough to mean something!

    The ONION’s commentary on this was fabulous.,38397/?utm_source=The+Onion&utm_campaign=be78ed81af-The_Onion_Newsletter_Daily_Template&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6a8b5ad20e-be78ed81af-17295181

  8. girlp says:

    This is just one of the reasons there should be no death penalty the Justice system is not perfect even for detectives and prosecuters who truly believe they have it right tunnel vision is a murderer. I believe many innocent people have been executed; there is no way to bring them back.

    • gblock says:

      I agree. Many such cases are a travesty of justice. Someone wanted to be able to say that they “solved the crime” and “brought the criminal to justice” on the basis the flimsiest of evidence that the person arrested and tried actually was the perpetrator.

  9. Malisha says:

    Every single person who contributed in any way to this miscarriage of justice IN OUR NAME must be made to pay, personally, for his or her participation in the crime of depriving an American of FREEDOM in spite of the sacrifice of all our soldiers in the cause of “FREEDOM” for Americans. Every single traitor who helped sell FREEDOM to a pack of corrupt government criminals must be punished. To start with each of them should labor for 30 years and pay all of their money over to the victim. That’s for starters.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    Even though his lawyer was negligent, so was the prosecutor. The prosecution probably knew they didn’t have their guy and didn’t care. What masquerades for justice for minorities in this country is jawdropping.

    • Yes, and there also must have been a crime lab ballistics ‘expert’ who apparently lied.

      Most people do not realize it, but forensic fraud is one of the major causes of wrongful convictions of innocent people.

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