Anthony Ray Hinton was released in April 2015 after spending 30 years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he did not commit. He was released with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative, for which he is now an employee. He now serves as EJI’s Community Educator and travels both nationally and internationally to speak about his experience.
One of the longest-serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and among the longest-serving condemned prisoners to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence, Mr. Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1983. Thirty years ago, Mr. Hinton was arrested and charged with two capital murders based solely on the assertion that a revolver taken from his mother’s home was the gun used in both murders and in a third uncharged crime. EJI attorneys engaged three of the nation’s top firearms examiners, who testified in 2002 that the revolver could not be matched to crime evidence. State prosecutors never questioned the new findings but nonetheless refused to re-examine the case or concede error.
After 12 more years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the lower courts, and a new trial was granted. The judge finally dismissed the charges after prosecutors said that scientists at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences tested the evidence and confirmed that the crime bullets cannot be matched to the Hinton weapon. Anthony Ray Hinton was released.
He has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences over the last two and a half years and is an incredibly compelling speaker and powerful advocate for changes to the criminal justice system. More information about his story is available here. His inspirational memoir, The Sun Does Shine, How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row was released March 27, 2018. In June 2018, Oprah chose The Sun Does Shine for her Book Club.Download Bio
The Sun Does ShineHow I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
St. Martin's Press
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
Watch Anthony Ray Hinton speak with Oprah on coping with confinement and his learnings on spending 30 years on death row. Anthony Ray Hinton’s story was featured in the HBO documentary True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, about the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. The documentary is available for free on HBO’s website until Wednesday, July 31. Read the coverage and listen to his story from his talk at Wilmington Public Library. Parade names The Sun Does Shine a “stranger than fiction” read. Discover 6 fast facts about Anthony Ray Hinton on Oxygen. Read what you need to know about Oprah’s new Book Club pick from Entertainment Weekly Get a First Look at Oprah’s June 2018 Book Club pick In June 2018, Oprah chose The Sun Does Shine for her Book Club Listen to Anthony Ray Hinton speak about living for 30 years on death row on wnyc.com Read a bit about Anthony Ray Hinton’s experience in his own words in this article from The Guardian Check out this interview on democracynow.com in which Anthony Ray Hinton talks about his exoneration Take a look at this article in The New York Times, over viewing Anthony Ray Hinton’s story Read Anthony Ray Hinton’s interview on criminal justice and more with The Marshall Project Learn “How to Survive Death Row” in Anthony Ray Hinton’s interview with Slate Read an excerpt of The Sun Does Shine on Longreads Check out the Alabama News Center’s feature on Anthony Ray Hinton and The Sun Does Shine Watch Anthony Ray Hinton on Megyn Kelly Today Listen to an excerpt of The Sun Does Shine‘s audio book on Criminalelement.com Read a review of The Sun Does Shine on Alabama.com
- Cheryl Spaulings, The Cape May Prosecutor's Office
“Ray Hinton brought the magic of forgiveness and grace to the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival that was shared with 700 students at Sonoma Valley High School on Students Day on May 3, as well as the entire audience of 550 attendees at the Festival on May 4. While many people can speak to the imperfections in our legal system, few speakers have the ability to address the issue with the authenticity and transcendence that Mr. Hinton does. Frankly, the only other person that I have heard do this was Nelson Mandela when he spoke after leaving Robben Island.”
- R. David Freeman, Co-Founder, Sonoma Valley Authors Festival
"Students, faculty and guests are still reeling from Mr. Hinton's presentation last Thursday. It was truly a presentation that none of us will forget."
- Gloria Fernández-Tearte, MSW, Director of Diversity and Staff Development, Greenwich Academy
"What a wonderful day we’ve had here with Anthony Ray Hinton. He packed the house for his keynote talk, and there was much laughter and many tears. He’s a phenomenal story teller and a delightful human being. To echo what one of the middle school students said after stepping away from a conversation with him, “I’ve been blessed.” We were all so fortunate to share the day with him."
- Randi Smith, LCSW, PhD, Professor, Psychology, Chair, 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Praise for The Sun Does Shine “No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world.”
- Bryan Stevenson, New York Times Bestselling Author, Just Mercy
“If there is ever a story that needs to be told, it is this one. Anthony Ray Hinton is extraordinary, an example to us all of the power of the human spirit to rise above complete injustice. He is using his experience as a way to turn the broken criminal justice system upside down. He is a brilliant storyteller, and his book will make people laugh, cry, and change their own lives for the better. It will also inspire people to never accept the unacceptable, like the death penalty. The Sun Does Shine will be a book that people all around the world will never forget.”
- Richard Branson
"I've met Anthony Ray Hinton, and he's an extraordinary man. He stands out among exonerees (and I know hundreds of them) for his dignity and gentle soul encased in his massive frame. His story is important and compelling. Bryan Stevenson, a national treasure and central character in this story, fought tirelessly for over fifteen years and won a rare and landmark case in the United States Supreme Court. The Sun Does Shine is the gripping and inspirational story that the public has been waiting for."
- Barry Scheck, Attorney, Director of the Innocence Project
“The Sun Does Shine, collaboratively written with Hardin, is a troubling, moving, and ultimately exalting journey through the decades Hinton lived under the threat of death while an unjust system that refused to acknowledge mistakes failed him repeatedly.”
- Booklist, starred review