Alabama Man Freed From Death Row Says Prosecutors ‘Will Answer to God’

Anthony Ray Hinton says his case was built on racism and a lie

As Ray Hinton walked out of an Alabama jail after spending 30 years on death row, he promised to continue praying for the families of two victims he was wrongfully convicted of murdering whom he said suffered a “miscarriage of justice” he also experienced.
Hinton, 58, was released from jail last week, 30 years after he was convicted of two murders in Birmingham largely based on evidence from bullets found at the crime scene. But new testing showed that the bullets couldn’t be connected to Hinton.
“They had every intention of executing me for something I didn’t do,” Hinton said.
The Equal Justice Initiative, the group that helped win Hinton’s release, conducted testing on the weapon “the state said was sole evidence of finding him guilty of these murders,” his attorney, Bryan Stevenson, told ABC News, adding that “testing revealed that the Hinton weapon was not used in these crimes.”
Hinton is the sixth person to be exonerated from death row in Alabama, The Associated Press reports, citing the Death Penalty Information Center.
“When you think you are high and mighty and you are above the law, you don’t have to answer to nobody,” Hinton said. “But I got news for them, everybody who played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God.”
Hinton wore a suit for the first time in 30 years during his release.
After he signed the release papers, “they gave him his meager possessions,” Stevenson recalled to ABC News: a pair of sneakers, a belt and a couple of books.
Then, they walked out of the jail and met his family and friends.
“He’s going to take his time and just try to recover from the challenges of confinement,” Stevenson said. “We’ll meet next week and begin trying to sort out how to put his life back together again.”
Hinton’s release was “enormously gratifying,” Stevenson said, but “it’s also frustrating that so many years were taken away from him unnecessarily.”
His lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, had argued for years that the case against Mr Hinton was flawed: that he had an alibi for when one of the crimes was committed, passed a lie detector test when he was first arrested, and no evidence corroborated the ballistics results used to convict him.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hinton said: “I was at work when one of the crimes took place. That wasn’t good enough for them. They didn’t even begin to check my alibi.
“They just had a young black man – I was 29 years old – and I didn’t have no money and in the United States, especially in the South that spells conviction.
“This whole case was built around racism and a lie.”

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