Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row, the whole time proclaiming his innocence. The evidence used to convict Hinton of two murders was always poor. There were no eyewitnesses, no fingerprints, no physical evidence at all other than a supposed link between a set of bullets and a gun owned by Hinton’s mother. Hinton passed a polygraph test, but that was never admitted as evidence.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he hadn’t received a fair trial and ordered a new one. In that trial, experts could not conclusively link the bullets to the weapon. In fact, they couldn’t even say for sure if they were fired by the same gun. With no evidence left, the case was dismissed and Hinton was released.
Unsurprisingly, Anthony Ray Hinton is black.
And he’s not the only innocent black person sent to death row.