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Guest Speaker Anthony Ray Hinton Visits High School Assembly

After spending nearly 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, Anthony Ray Hinton’s story is one of strength, forgiveness, and the power of will.
During high school assembly on December 6, Hinton spoke to a packed Martin Theater on his personal experiences facing injustices in the judicial system. In 1985, Hinton was convicted of multiple homicides after Alabama police wrongfully identified him as the murderer, despite a lack of ballistic evidence. An all-white jury sentenced Hinton to the death penalty.

After learning of his case, attorney Brian Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit that offers legal representation to prisoners who may have faced wrongful convictions, reached out to help Hinton. Stevenson and his team fought for 16 years to prove Hinton’s innocence, all while he continued to sit in a small jail cell on Alabama death row. His case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, where they ruled 9-0 that his defense had been ineffective. Hinton was finally exonerated and reclaimed his freedom in 2015.

In his presentation, Hinton spoke about a range of topics including the power of a positive mindset to overcome the most difficult of circumstances, the passing of his mother while he was incarcerated, and the struggles of adjusting to normalcy in a world with which he’s unfamiliar. Hinton chronicles these experiences and more in his book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.

Now 58 years old, Hinton has dedicated his time visiting different groups and schools across the country to speak about criminal injustices. The Dalton School would like to thank Mr. Hinton for his courage and for sharing his moving experiences with our community.
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