Death Row Inmate Released: Anthony Ray Hinton To Go Free After 30 Years For Lack Of Evidence

An Alabama death row inmate will be released on Friday due to a lack of real evidence that he actually committed the crime. Anthony Ray Hinton had been convicted of two murders in 1985, but the bullets found at the crime scenes could not be traced to a gun which investigators took from Hinton’s home.

Those four bullets were the prime evidence which linked Hinton to the crime he was suspected of committing, a link which could not be proven after 30 years. This was the reason for Jefferson County Circuit Judge Laura Petro dismissing the charges.

The bullets had come from fast food robberies that Hinton’s attorney, Bryan Stevenson, believed should have been looked into more closely. While Stevenson’s client has now been vindicated, Hinton has now lost decades of his life after being held in death row for so long.

Stevenson has been fighting for his client for 16 years, claiming that at the times of the robberies, Anthony Ray Hinton had been working his job at a warehouse. His defense lawyer had wrongly believed he had only $1,000 to spend on a ballistics expert, and took the only one who would do it. The credentials of this expert were in question.

An Alabama Department of Corrections spokesperson said that death row inmate Hinton will be released from Jefferson County Jail on Friday. Stevenson is still saddened that his client had faced decades in jail for a crime he allegedly didn’t commit.

“Every day, every month, every year that the state took from him, they took something that they don’t have the power to give back. While this moment is quite joyous and is quite wonderful, this case is quite tragic.”

The Supreme Court decided last year to re-evaluate Hinton’s defense due to the possible lack of credentials used in determining his guilt 30 years ago. They claimed the death row inmate had been represented by “constitutionally deficient” defense, and his only crime was being unable to pay for a proper one.

After three decades, Anthony Ray Hinton is now expected to be free to go on Friday.

[Image via Alabama News]

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