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The Man Who Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

It is impossible to imagine what it’s like to be accused of a crime you didn't commit, be sentenced to death, and then wait on death row for 30 years. There was no help for Anthony Hinton until Attorney Bryan Stevenson, after years of fighting the Alabama justice system, won his freedom.

When Hinton was first arrested for murder he was certain justice would prevail. He was employed at a factory where employees were locked in during their night shift. There was incontrovertible physical evidence he couldn’t have been anywhere near the crime. Later he recounted protesting his innocence to the arresting officer. The response was: “I don’t care whether you did or didn’t do it. In fact, I believe you didn’t do it. But it doesn’t matter, if you didn’t do it, one of your brothers did. And you’re going to take the rap."

Thirty years later he was freed without any apology or compensation from the government for having stolen thirty years of his life. Hinton’s well-written book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, is heartbreaking and heartrending. But in spite of his soul crushing years without hope, he came out a man determined not to allow bitterness to control his life. He has forgiven his enemies because, as he says, “I forgive because I have a God who forgives. “

Margie Haack, Letters from the House Between blog (Issue 4, Winter 2018)

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