The Sun Does Shine
OPRAH WINFREY'S BOOK CLUB SUMMER 2018 SELECTION**THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**Anthony Ray Hinton was poor and black when he was convicted of two murders he hadn't committed. For the next three decades he was trapped in solitary confinement in a tiny cell on death row, having to watch as - one by one - his fellow prisoners were taken past him to the execution room. Eventually his case was taken up by the award-winning lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who managed to have him exonerated, though it took 15 years for this to happen. Since his release, other high-profile supporters have included Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Amal Clooney.How did Hinton cope with the mental and emotional torture of his situation, and emerge full of compassion and forgiveness? The Sun Does Shine throws light not only on his remarkable personality but also on social deprivation and miscarriages of justice. Ultimately, though, it's a triumphant story of the resilience of the human spirit.

The Sun Does Shine Details

TitleThe Sun Does Shine
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 27th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250124715
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Crime, True Crime

The Sun Does Shine Review

  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    I am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, angry, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. Not that he never got angry, he did, but he still hung on, didn't give up. He had a best friend, Lester a childhood friend who never missed visits, a mother to whom he was her baby boy, always asking him when he would be coming home, and he had his faith in God. His first lawyer in I am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, angry, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. Not that he never got angry, he did, but he still hung on, didn't give up. He had a best friend, Lester a childhood friend who never missed visits, a mother to whom he was her baby boy, always asking him when he would be coming home, and he had his faith in God. His first lawyer incompetent, fighting against a system prejudice that despite evidence to the contrary, would do anything for a conviction. He would also, eventually have Bryan Stevenson, the author of Just Mercy and his lawyers in the Equal justice initiative. In fact, Stevenson writes the forward in this book.That the criminal justice system in this country is evident just from what we see on our televisions. It seems always weekly men who have been in prison, serving long sentences are found innocent and released. This book makes this point perfectly clear. Even when the evidence was found to be faulty in his first trial, Hintons case was passed from Court to court. The amount of years this happened was beyond ridiculous, to me it was unconsciousable. During his time on death row, he started a book club, daydreamed his way out, to travel, pretend, allowing him the opportunity to escape mentally if he couldn't physically. Many books have left me teary eyed, but reading this book affected me so much I had tears running down my face more than once. All the things this man missed, the sorrows he endured, on being released the realization that the world had moved on in technology, and in other ways. Yet, he never lost his humanity, held on to his faith, but what he lost is beyond measure.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    Can you imagine?Can you imagine being convicted of multiple murders you never committed and sentenced to death by electrocution?Can you imagine spending thirty years of your life in a tiny room next to the Death Room where they electrocute men and women, always wondering when the guards will show up in front of your cell to let you know the date of your own execution?Hoping, praying that the truth will come out, that you will have a chance to prove your innocence, but being told again and again Can you imagine?Can you imagine being convicted of multiple murders you never committed and sentenced to death by electrocution?Can you imagine spending thirty years of your life in a tiny room next to the Death Room where they electrocute men and women, always wondering when the guards will show up in front of your cell to let you know the date of your own execution?Hoping, praying that the truth will come out, that you will have a chance to prove your innocence, but being told again and again that no one wants to even hear what you have to say, no one wants to believe you? No one wants to even consider you might be innocent. After all, due to your skin colour, it doesn’t matter if you’ve done the deed or not, you were guilty the moment you were born.Can you imagine such hate, such prejudice?Anthony Ray Hinton’s story is unlike any I have ever read, and if you find my words unoriginal – after all, we’ve all said that a hundred times before about the books we’ve read – then so be it. Actually, I hope it becomes like many stories I have read, because I want to know more about mass incarceration, death penalty, and prejudice against minorities. I want to know more about Love, Hope and Truth. I want to learn to forgive, like Anthony Ray Hinton has, and to get rid of my sometimes inflamed ego. I don’t want to lose my confidence – no one ever should – but I want to be capable of admitting I am wrong without feeling like I am losing a battle. Before I read this book, I didn’t have an opinion on the death penalty, but now I do. I am lucky enough to be living in a country where the death penalty was abolished decades ago, but I didn’t realize how grateful I should be about that before today. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Ray. I hope that one day love will win, too. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    5 inspirational and unforgettable stars to The Sun Does Shine! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder and spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama. His cell was close enough to the execution block that all his senses knew when someone’s time had come. Hinton’s public defender was incompetent and so was the star witness in ballistics who happened to be blind in one eye and asked for help in doing his job. Add to that a district attorney with an axe to grind, an all white jury and judg 5 inspirational and unforgettable stars to The Sun Does Shine! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder and spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama. His cell was close enough to the execution block that all his senses knew when someone’s time had come. Hinton’s public defender was incompetent and so was the star witness in ballistics who happened to be blind in one eye and asked for help in doing his job. Add to that a district attorney with an axe to grind, an all white jury and judge, and racial tensions in Alabama, and Hinton was convicted of a crime he did not commit. While each day and year ticked by, Hinton never lost hope, and he was able to convince well-known attorney, Bryan Stevenson, to represent him. After jumping through all the hoops of our justice system, and several years later in doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the false conviction. At the very heart of this book is Hinton’s merciful, steadfast spirit. In prison, he was known for his kindness and ability to make others laugh. Outside of prison, he spends his time advocating so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. If you need to feel uplifted, Hinton indomitably delivers. Thank you to Anthony Ray Hinton, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the ARC for this inspiring book. The Sun Does Shine is available now!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Until we have a way of ensuring that innocent men are never executed. Until we account for the racism in our courts, in our prisons, and in our sentencing. The death penalty should be abolished. Anthony Ray Hinton is an amazing and Godly man. He's a much better person than I am. Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. This innocent man could have been put to death, for the crime of being black & poor. His trial was a sham, his court appointed lawy Until we have a way of ensuring that innocent men are never executed. Until we account for the racism in our courts, in our prisons, and in our sentencing. The death penalty should be abolished. Anthony Ray Hinton is an amazing and Godly man. He's a much better person than I am. Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. This innocent man could have been put to death, for the crime of being black & poor. His trial was a sham, his court appointed lawyer couldn't have cared less, the police told him to his face they didn't care if he was innocent because "If you didn't do it some other nigger did", the prosecutor Robert McGregor, I will only say that I hope he enjoys heat because he's burning in Hell.As I said before Anthony Ray Hinton is a better person than me, because he's forgiven all the people who wronged him. Well guess what I haven't, one of my great talents is the ability to hold grudges. Anthony Ray Hinton is a special sort of person, he never gave up hope or lost his enthusiasm for life. He started a death row bookclub, he prayed for the souls of his fellow death row inmates(even the guilty ones), he befriended a Klansman on death row for the brutal murder of a black man and he married both Halle Berry & Sandra Bullock(in his head of course).I don't believe in the death penalty. I know that there are people who have committed truly heinous crimes and should probably die for that but what about the Anthony Ray Hinton's of the world. 1 out of every 10 people on death row are innocent. Anthony Ray Hinton was lucky, he wasn't wrongfully executed but every year at least 5 innocent people are. I just can't stomach that. A must read! Oprah's Bookclub2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book about a problem facing society today. Hooked On Books July Read-A-Thon.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    If you haven’t read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson , it’s a must read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system in the US and especially the death penalty. Strike that — it’s a must read for everyone.The Sun Does Shine has a foreword by Bryan Stephenson, but it is written by Anthony Ray Hinton, an inmate who was on death row in Alabama for 30 years. Hinton was sentenced to death for murders he did not commit. He is black and was too poor to afford a If you haven’t read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson , it’s a must read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system in the US and especially the death penalty. Strike that — it’s a must read for everyone.The Sun Does Shine has a foreword by Bryan Stephenson, but it is written by Anthony Ray Hinton, an inmate who was on death row in Alabama for 30 years. Hinton was sentenced to death for murders he did not commit. He is black and was too poor to afford a lawyer who could properly represent him. And it took thirty years before he was able to convince the US Supreme Court that his first trial was unfair and hadn’t allowed him to present clearly exculpatory evidence.What makes the book worth reading is Hinton himself. He is a force of nature. In his foreword, Stephenson mentions that even the guards were supportive of Hinton’s plea for a new trial. And it’s easy to see why. Despite being on death row, Hinton found a way to make the best of a terrible situation. He took the high road in difficult circumstances and looked for the humanity in everyone, including his fellow inmates. As just one example, he started a book club that led inmates who could barely read to talk about race and justice and other topics. He even became friends with the son of a well known white nationalist who was on death row for killing a black man.Hinton is very self reflective, and his book doesn’t just share his story, but many of his thoughts about faith, his love for his mother and close friends who stuck by him, how to stay strong in difficult situations, the failures of the criminal justice system and the inhumanity of the death penalty. There is also a fair amount of humour in Hinton’s book. Hinton clearly does this on purpose, at one point explaining that starting with humour is often a good way to put people at ease and get them to listen. Hinton is now 60 years old. He had a lot to say. His book is well worth reading. I don’t share the depth of his religious faith, but it clearly has kept him going and fuelled his admirable ability to look forward. I listened to the audio version, which was really well done. Hinton doesn’t read it, but it’s read in a voice that is full of life and expression.
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    This is an account of an innocent man who spent 30 years on a death row in Alabama. Tragedy which could have devastated most of people ... However, Mr Hinton remained sane thanks to his faith, his mother and his best friend, and because he knew he was not guilty. What happened to him is beyond words and his voice is valuable regarding the capital punishment. You can only admire Mr Hinton who, against the odds, found strength to survive.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, back in 2016 and that book has STUCK WITH ME. So there was no question that I would read this book, about one of the many innocent people Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative has fought hard to free after they have been wrongly convicted as guilty and sentenced to death. Thanks to Stevenson my viewpoint was forever changed about the death penalty, and this book further cemented it. This book is about a terrible i I read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, back in 2016 and that book has STUCK WITH ME. So there was no question that I would read this book, about one of the many innocent people Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative has fought hard to free after they have been wrongly convicted as guilty and sentenced to death. Thanks to Stevenson my viewpoint was forever changed about the death penalty, and this book further cemented it. This book is about a terrible injustice, finding a way to have hope even in a situation full of despair, and the seemingly rare occurrence of real justice prevailing after our judicial system makes a terrible mistake. Until our justice system becomes fool-proof, which it never will be unless someone invents a real truth serum, every person should have qualms about supporting the death penalty. Is "an eye for an eye" a justifiable punishment if sometimes you incorrectly blind an innocent man in the process?
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Last year I read Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. It was crushing to read about a justice system based on convictions and political gain at the expense of innocent men. It led me to read I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi about the death of Earl Garner and also to Michelle Ko's Reading with Patrick. Each book is a moving account of the stories behind the Black Lives Matter movement. So when I saw that one of the Death Row inmates represented by Stevenson had written his own book I had to read it.R Last year I read Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. It was crushing to read about a justice system based on convictions and political gain at the expense of innocent men. It led me to read I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi about the death of Earl Garner and also to Michelle Ko's Reading with Patrick. Each book is a moving account of the stories behind the Black Lives Matter movement. So when I saw that one of the Death Row inmates represented by Stevenson had written his own book I had to read it.Ray Hinton had a record and had paid his dues. He was working in a guarded facility when a murder took place, but an enemy in romance told police that he had seen Ray at the crime scene.Ray was poor. Ray was black. Ray had a record. With lousy representation, a partially blind expert witness in munitions, and the system stacked against him, he was convicted and sent to prison for murders he did not commit. The Sun Does Shine tells of his struggle for justice, his decline into anger and hatred, and how he found hope and acceptance. He became a model prisoner, befriending the other inmates and working to improve their lives. He asked for their food to be covered to keep out dust and insects. He asked for books to keep the inmates from dwelling on their problems. He started a book club. He kept up morale.Ray changed lives. A former KKK member who killed a black teenager called Ray his best friend.It was the continuing love of his mother and support of his best friend that kept Ray going for thirty years. Even after his mother passed, he heard her inspiring voice to keep fighting. Ray knew he had what many others on Death Row had lacked: a loving family and abiding faith.Bryan Stevenson was overworked but took on Ray's case. They had to fight the Alabama court system that would not accept the evidence that would prove Ray's innocence. When Ray was finally released he had lived on Death Row longer than he had been free. It was a shock; the world had changed. The first night of freedom he slept in the bathroom because the bedroom was too large and strange. He was given no compensation. He had no Social Security or pension or savings built up. He would have to work to support himself the rest of his life.I was devastated and I was inspired by Ray's story. Meet Mr. Hinton in a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6bvA...I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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  • Brandice
    January 1, 1970
    In The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton provides a first person account of his 30 years on Death Row - An innocent man served 30 - no, that’s not a typo - years in prison for a crime he did not commit - That’s my entire life. Hinton talks about his life growing up in Alabama, but most of the book focuses on his time spent on Death Row because sadly, that’s where he was forced to spend the majority of his life. He is 62 today. There are some real disgus In The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton provides a first person account of his 30 years on Death Row - An innocent man served 30 - no, that’s not a typo - years in prison for a crime he did not commit - That’s my entire life. Hinton talks about his life growing up in Alabama, but most of the book focuses on his time spent on Death Row because sadly, that’s where he was forced to spend the majority of his life. He is 62 today. There are some real disgusting people in this story - Hinton’s first lawyer, Perhacs, and McGregor, the prosecutor in the case, at the top of the list. It was infuriating to read especially because there were no consequences noted for their ignorant and negligent behavior in botching the case. This is not a fiction book with characters created to be intentionally dislikable - These are men who had it out for Hinton for no reason, and as a result, cost him a huge portion of his life. Lazy, racist and immoral are just a few top of mind words to describe them. Despite the infuriating elements, which remain throughout most of the book, I enjoyed reading Hinton’s story - His optimism, hope, and ability to escape Death Row’s terrible conditions on a daily basis, through his vivid imagination, were incredible. I honestly don’t know if I’d have it in me to persist and keep fighting after so long! I also admired Hinton’s ability to forgive people, both those involved in his case, and other inmates in prison with him, who committed violent crimes - Everyone on death row isn’t innocent. Hinton’s consistent optimism is admirable, and a good reminder that the things we frequently consider problematic on a daily basis often aren’t, and are things we too often take for granted, when our situation could actually be much worse. ”There was no New Year celebration on death row and 2014 came in like a quiet thief in the night. What could we celebrate, really - another year of being alive or another year of being closer to death? How did free men celebrate a new year? I didn’t know, and I couldn’t remember.” I read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite books today because it changed my perspective and challenged many of my thoughts on what I considered to be a pretty firm opinion regarding the death penalty. In The Sun Does Shine, Hinton shares that he strongly opposes the death penalty and provides many reasons to support his position against it. Henry Hays, the son of a KKK leader was on Death Row with Hinton and ultimately executed for the lynching of a 19 year old African-American, Michael Donald, in Alabama in 1981. I already disliked Hays because of this while reading the book, and reading about the incident elsewhere after finishing the book didn’t change my opinion of him. It’s hard for me to believe Hays didn’t deserve the death penalty or feel any sympathy toward him after he committed such an immoral, heinous crime. “Justice demanded life for a life. Retribution. The perpetrator should not live while the victim has no choice.” Hinton states this, summarizing a pro- death penalty argument he read while in prison, and I’d be lying if I said this did not resonate with me, at least partially. That said, I agree the justice system is seriously flawed and in dire need of immediate improvement - The below statistic Bryan Stevenson cites in an article that is also included in this book is alarming:”With 34 executions and seven exonerations since 1975, one innocent person has been identified in Alabama’s Death Row for every five executions. It’s an astonishing rate of error”. Change is needed, and needed now. Hinton missed out on so much - time with his mom, his 30s, 40s and much of his 50s, the world - drastically changed by advanced technology over the last 30 years, and the opportunity to have children, among other things. It’s truly a tragedy. Today, Hinton travels, speaking out against the death penalty and for justice and prison reform. I hope he has the opportunity to enjoy everything he still wants to experience. The Sun Does Shine is a heavy read, but one well worth reading.
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  • Emer
    January 1, 1970
    "It was nothing less than a lynching - a legal lynching - but a lynching all the same. The anger I had tried so hard to stuff down and pray away was back in full force. My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama. Everywhere I looked in his court room, I saw white faces - a sea of white faces. Wood walls, wood furniture, and white faces. The court room was impressive and intimidating. I felt like an uninvited guest in a rich man's library. It's hard to explain exactly wha "It was nothing less than a lynching - a legal lynching - but a lynching all the same. The anger I had tried so hard to stuff down and pray away was back in full force. My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama. Everywhere I looked in his court room, I saw white faces - a sea of white faces. Wood walls, wood furniture, and white faces. The court room was impressive and intimidating. I felt like an uninvited guest in a rich man's library. It's hard to explain exactly what it feels like to be judged. There is a shame to it. Even when you know you're innocent. It still feels like you are coated in something dirty and evil. It made me feel guilty. It made me feel like my very soul was put on trial and found lacking. When it seems like the whole world thinks you're bad, it's hard to hang on to your goodness. I was trying, though. Lord knows I was trying." Imagine being an innocent man incarcerated on death row for thirty years. How do you stomach the hate and racism fired at you from the beginning of your arrest and trial when the only thing they have to say you're guilty is your skin colour and socioeconomic background? Imagine your polygraph being ignored, the ballistics "expert" your state-appointed lawyer can afford being legally blind in one eye... There are so many wrongs in this memoir of Anthony Ray Hinton's. So many injustices carried out against him. But the most wrong of all to me is the death penalty itself. I have never supported it, I do not support it and I will never support it. Everyone deserves the chance for redemption and to live out their days. Taking a life for a life is never okay. This book is utterly moving. I read it through falling tears and stirred up feelings of anger and frustration... Highly recommended. "It's hard not to wrap your life in a story - a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A story that has logic and purpose and a bigger reason for why things turned out the way they did. I look for purpose in losing thirty years of my life. I try to make meaning out of something so wrong and so senseless.We all do.We have to find ways to recover after bad things happen. We have to make every ending be a happy ending.Every single one of us wants to matter. We want our lives and our stories and the choices we made or didn't make to matter.Death row taught me that it all matters.How we live matters. Do we choose love or do we choose hate? Do we help or do we harm?Because there's no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror.And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming."
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  • Bkwmlee
    January 1, 1970
    As I write this review, I am wiping tears from my face -- tears that flowed more than once as I was reading this amazing book. It is hard to describe the gamut of emotions I felt as I followed Anthony Ray Hinton’s incredible story of having to spend 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Disgusted, appalled, angry, outraged – none of these words seem to be sufficient in relaying my feelings towards the blatant miscarriage of justice that was described in this book as well as towards As I write this review, I am wiping tears from my face -- tears that flowed more than once as I was reading this amazing book. It is hard to describe the gamut of emotions I felt as I followed Anthony Ray Hinton’s incredible story of having to spend 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Disgusted, appalled, angry, outraged – none of these words seem to be sufficient in relaying my feelings towards the blatant miscarriage of justice that was described in this book as well as towards a broken criminal justice system that goes out of its way to protect corrupt, prejudiced officials who have no qualms about convicting and putting innocent people to death not based on hard evidence, but rather based on the color of their skin. Facing a system that treats “the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent,” Hinton fought for decades to prove his innocence, encountering one setback after another, until finally, with the help of his attorney Bryan Stevenson, they were able to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the original conviction and grant him a new trial, after which the local district attorney in Alabama decided to drop the charges. Throughout his harrowing ordeal, Hinton was sustained by his faith in God, which helped him maintain hope, but most importantly, he was blessed with the unconditional love of his mother -- a remarkable woman who was the center of his universe and also his most steadfast cheerleader – as well as the unwavering support of his best friend Lester Bailey, who, for 30 years, never missed a single visit, driving 7 hours every Friday down to the prison to sit with Hinton and make sure he had everything he needed and also helping to take care of his beloved mother. Channeling the love he received from his family and friends, his own unique sense of humor, and also everything his mother taught him about life, Hinton was able to develop true friendships with his fellow inmates and even with some of the guards at the prison. Hinton’s ability to forgive those who wronged him and, despite the circumstances, try to better the lives of his fellow inmates through humor and genuine compassion were nothing short of extraordinary. Most people in his situation would not have found the will to survive, but Hinton was different – his strong resolve and unbreakable spirit were essential in helping him survive the misery of his situation. Also, it must be said that I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for Hinton’s attorney Bryan Stevenson – an extraordinary man who has dedicated his entire life to fighting for justice and equality for those who are poor, underprivileged, marginalized. In Hinton’s case, Stevenson fought the courts tirelessly for 16 years, never giving up even when one court after another refused to admit the evidence that would exonerate Hinton, never backing down even in the face of blatant bias from the judges and prosecutors. Even now, as Stevenson continues to battle with the State of Alabama to get compensation for Hinton, it continues to be a struggle, this time with semantics, as the same inherently prejudiced bureaucratic system maintains that Hinton should not get compensated because the charges being “dropped” is not the same as an official declaration of innocence. This is one of the most powerful memoirs I’ve read in a long time. Hinton’s story is unforgettable, inspirational, and is one that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. Since his release, Hinton has become a motivational speaker and works with Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative traveling around the world, going wherever he is invited to share his story, bringing awareness and also pushing for changes in this country’s justice system in the hopes that this doesn’t happen again to anyone. One of the saddest moments in the book was when Hinton’s mother passed away from cancer in 2002 – this was a woman who had been his rock throughout his ordeal, the love of his life, someone who meant more to him than life itself, the one person who, from the moment her son was arrested, never wavered in her belief that her most beloved baby boy would return home. A bittersweet reunion in the end, as Hinton walked out of the jailhouse finally a free man, grateful that Lester and his family were there to greet him, but also knowing that the mother he adored did not live to see that moment. Despite what Hinton went through and knowing the deeply ingrained societal struggles with racial bias in that state, Hinton still chooses to live in Alabama, in the same house that his mother worked hard her entire life in order to buy so that he would have a home to go back to. Hinton’s special bond with his remarkable mother was one part of his story that moved me deeply.Remarkable, inspiring, eye-opening, and ultimately uplifting, this is a memoir that EVERYONE needs to read, and urgently, given what is happening in our country currently. Bryan Stevenson puts it best in the Forward to this book where he writes: “Reading [Hinton’s] story is difficult but necessary. We need to learn things about our criminal justice system, about the legacy of racial bias in America and the way it can blind us to just and fair treatment of people. We need to understand the dangers posed by the politics of fear and anger that create systems like our capital punishment system and the political dynamics that have made some courts and officials act so irresponsibly. We also need to learn about human dignity, about human worth and value. We need to think about the fact that we are all more than the worst thing we have done.”Received ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    An incredible story! My heart hurt for Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man with extraordinary patience who sat on death row in a 5x7 ft cell for 30 years. This man missed half his life due to an unconscionable travesty of justice in Alabama’s court system before finally being exonerated and set free in 2015 at 58 years old after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget Ray’s story. Surely, the Alabama Senate will find it in their hearts to compensate this An incredible story! My heart hurt for Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man with extraordinary patience who sat on death row in a 5x7 ft cell for 30 years. This man missed half his life due to an unconscionable travesty of justice in Alabama’s court system before finally being exonerated and set free in 2015 at 58 years old after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget Ray’s story. Surely, the Alabama Senate will find it in their hearts to compensate this man as a small token to right this egregious wrong?The fix was in from the start for Ray, a hard-working young black man living in racially charged Alabama. It infuriates me that people today use the ‘racist’ card when a behavior doesn’t suit them and have no idea what true racism is. Anthony Ray Hinton can educate them on that. “You know, 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,” said District Attorney of Birmingham, David Barber as he interrogated Ray.The cards were stacked against Ray - a white witness carrying a grudge, a white district attorney, a white judge, a white jury. Nobody cared about the truth. Mix in an incompetent public defender and a ballistics expert blind in one eye who had trouble working the microscope and asked for help doing his job who would be crucified on the stand by the prosecutor.30 years in a cell nearby the room where 53 death row inmates were executed, I cannot imagine the psychological effects of being exposed long term to this barbaric practice, hearing anguished pleas, smelling burning flesh and urine…simply beyond comprehension. I was overwhelmed just thinking about it and the strength it must have taken to survive 30 years of this! I recently saw an interview of Ray, who seems to have no hate in his heart or carry a grudge. I am so inspired by his amazing spirit yet grieve for his loss of everything he’s missed out on over the years since back when Reagan was president including the love of his life, his mother, dying while he was still in prison.Attorney Bryan Stevenson is a shining star, a man who for years has steadfastly dedicated his life to the less fortunate and incarcerated and who fought for decades with his staff to get Ray his freedom. Thanks to St. Martin’s press for allowing me to read this extraordinary ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Joey R.
    January 1, 1970
    I began reading “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Hinton after my mom told me it was one of the best books she has ever read. After completing the book in less than 3 days, I have to agree it is one of the most inspiring and well written accounts of one man’s journey through adversity that I have ever read. Hinton does an outstanding job telling his life story and the ups and downs he went through as a result of poverty and the bad decisions he made early in his life. The turning point of his life I began reading “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Hinton after my mom told me it was one of the best books she has ever read. After completing the book in less than 3 days, I have to agree it is one of the most inspiring and well written accounts of one man’s journey through adversity that I have ever read. Hinton does an outstanding job telling his life story and the ups and downs he went through as a result of poverty and the bad decisions he made early in his life. The turning point of his life came when he was falsely accused of a string of murders in Jefferson County,Alabama despite having an airtight alibi for the murder in which he was convicted. The majority of the book is A detailed account of Hinton’s life after his conviction and how he survived serving his prison sentence on Death Row. What makes the book so enjoyable is Mr. Hinton’s personality and attitude that shines through the book even through the worst of times. His ability to forgive and roll with the punches no matter what came his way is in a word amazing. Do yourself a favor and read this book as soon as possible; it will make you feel better about humanity knowing that someone who was as wronged as Mr. Hinton was able to overcome 30 years of pure hell and still remain the kindhearted, wonderful soul that wrote this book
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine that because you are poor, you cannot afford to hire a decent attorney but must instead rely on a public defender who is over-worked and doesn't really care whether or not you are convicted? Imagine not having the money needed to hire the experts who would prove your innocence. Imagine being sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit.The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine that because you are poor, you cannot afford to hire a decent attorney but must instead rely on a public defender who is over-worked and doesn't really care whether or not you are convicted? Imagine not having the money needed to hire the experts who would prove your innocence. Imagine being sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit.The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who was wrongly accused and convicted of killing two people and was then placed on death row. There he spent 30 years, awaiting his own murder by a state that did not care that he was innocent. A state that basically sentenced him to death because he was poor and he was black. Mr. Hinton tells his story eloquently and emotionally. He tells us what it was like being on death row, he shares the anger he initially felt and then the hope and peace he came to find through his faith. He is a remarkable man! I do not know that many of us could be as forgiving as he is. I certainly do not think I could be. How he was able to let go of his anger and instead tried to make the best of his situation is inspiring. He reminded me at times of the Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl who said that everything can be taken from a man but his right to choose his own attitude (I agree with this to a point, but we don't have control over the chemicals in our brain that sink us into depression). Mr. Hinton was able to let go of his anger and despair when "I realized that the State of Alabama could steal my future and my freedom, but they couldn't steal my soul or my humanity." I admire his fortitude even as he spent his days in a 5 X 7 cell, sharing that tiny space with roaches and rats, awaiting his death and witnessing the death of many others, men and women who could also have been innocent.If you support the death penalty, I urge you to read this book. Mr. Hinton makes the case that it is never OK to take the life of another, no matter what, especially not when there is a chance that someone is innocent of the crime that says he should die. Statistically, at least 1 in 10 people on death row are innocent. Many of the people on death row are mentally ill. How is it right to murder them? How is it humane? How can we be a good and moral society when we kill people, no matter who they are or what we think they may have done? We cannot be. I have been against the death penalty for a long time and reading this book just reenforces my belief that it is an evil and barbaric punishment. In this book, Mr. Hinton shows us the humanity of some of these people awaiting their deaths. He shares stories, he shares their hopes and dreams and feelings. He makes us see that they too are people and thus deserving of compassion, even those who did commit the crimes they were convicted of. It is society that makes a criminal and thus that same society has the responsibility to try to rehabilitate the individual if possible, not simply punish them. Not kill them. This book is beautiful and heartfelt and inspiring and one I think just about everyone can enjoy and learn from. I highly recommend it.
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  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, I really sunk my teeth into this fascinating story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Ray Hinton, a young black man who spent 30 years on Alabama's Death Row. His crime? Nothing more than being born black and poor in Alabama. He was convicted of the robbery, kidnap and attempted murder of one man, and the brutal murder of two others in a short period of time. Similar robbery killings continued after he was locked up, but no one cared. All but the fact that he had an excel Beautifully written, I really sunk my teeth into this fascinating story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Ray Hinton, a young black man who spent 30 years on Alabama's Death Row. His crime? Nothing more than being born black and poor in Alabama. He was convicted of the robbery, kidnap and attempted murder of one man, and the brutal murder of two others in a short period of time. Similar robbery killings continued after he was locked up, but no one cared. All but the fact that he had an excellent alibi for the night of the crime that he went to trial for. He was locked in a warehouse surrounded by a 15' fence topped with razor wire, doing jobs with other men, mostly driving a forklift. They had a guard that signed them in and out, miles away from the crime scene. This book is a tough story of a long struggle yet filled with inspiration at the same time, as Anthony finds ways to remain strong during his time on death row. For those interested in true crime, death row stories, and wrongful imprisonment. An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin for my honest review. St. Martin's PressPublication date is March 27, 2018.
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  • Libby
    January 1, 1970
    A question I sometimes ask myself after reading a book is if it was worth the time I invested, time that I could have spent doing something else. In other words, do I have a takeaway? Did the book impart something of value to me? This book answers that with a resounding ‘Yes.’ I wish I could imprint the messages of ‘The Sun Does Shine’ onto every cell in my body, because it is ultimately a story about hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Who couldn’t use a little of that? Along the way there is a A question I sometimes ask myself after reading a book is if it was worth the time I invested, time that I could have spent doing something else. In other words, do I have a takeaway? Did the book impart something of value to me? This book answers that with a resounding ‘Yes.’ I wish I could imprint the messages of ‘The Sun Does Shine’ onto every cell in my body, because it is ultimately a story about hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Who couldn’t use a little of that? Along the way there is a lot of darkness, a lot of sadness, and sorrow, but Anthony Ray Hinton manages to find a way to combat his almost thirty year long night of the soul. The tools he uses are his faith, friendship, and a mother’s love, each one a powerful dragon slayer. He needs them, because the flames of depression, despair, and hopelessness would consume him otherwise. In 1985, in Alabama, Hinton shows up for the night shift at Bruno’s warehouse. He’s working as a temporary worker, behind a locked gate with a high fence surrounding the property and checks in through the guard gate. He has to check in with a supervisor as each assignment is completed and get his new assignment. Fifteen miles away Sidney Smotherman is abducted when he stopped to investigate a rear end bumper collision to his car. A gunman takes Smotherman back to Quincy’s, where Smotherman works, shoots him in the head, and robs the place. Smotherman survives and ID’s Hinton from a photograph. Being in a locked workplace and shooting someone in the head at the same time are feats of evil magic, yet Hinton is charged with this crime. There is so much more to this story that the reader will want to read for him or herself. One thing comes through loud and clear. Being poor and black in Alabama is not a good thing when it comes to the justice system. Hinton writes on page 1:“But pain and tragedy and injustices happen—they happen to us all. I’d like to believe it’s what you choose to do after such an experience that matters the most—that truly changes your life forever. I’d really like to believe that.”The prosecutor for Hinton’s trial is Bob McGregor who says, “But more so than the evidence, I have never had as strong a feeling in trying any other case that the defendant just radiated guilt and pure evil as much as in the Hinton trial. Hinton discovers after some years on death row that it’s mostly impossible to know the guilt or innocence of another man. He makes friends with Henry Francis Hays, a KKK white man who lynched a teenage black boy. There’s no doubt as to the fact that Henry committed this heinous and horrible crime, but Hinton learns that all Henry has been taught about black people is hate, whereas all of his life, Hinton was taught love by his mother. That does not excuse Henry’s actions, but it was interesting to see this man on death row from Hinton’s perspective. There’s an absolutely heartstopping passage where Henry shares a quote from James Baldwin’s book, ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain.’ “For him there was the back door, and the dark stairs, and the kitchen or the basement. This world was not for him. If he refused to believe, and wanted to break his neck trying, then he could try until the sun refused to shine; they would never let him enter.” Hinton’s response,“I don’t believe the world is not for him,” I said. “Or for anyone. We are all God’s children, and this world belongs to all of us. I know the sun will never refuse to shine. We may not see it, but I know it’s there.”Highly recommended.
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  • Cheryl James
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very emotional story. It saddens me to know that our justice system can be so racial and corrupt to the point where innocent men and women are placed on death row all because they are financially challenged. This story and many more like it has me challenging my thoughts about the death sentence. For all of the people who lied to place Mr. Hinton on death row may you live your life in the free world as though you too were on death row with limited hope and power off your own life.
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    After finishing The Sun Does Shine, I had a range of emotions. Right at the top I was angry. I was mad at the injustice of Anthony Ray Hinton being arrested for a crime he did not commit. Second, I was mad at the whole process of representation because he was poor. Then I was angry at how racist the whole judicial system is. Anthony said it best when he said judges traded their white robes for black. Hopeful that evidence in his case would set him free. He passed a polygraph test, but isn’t admi After finishing The Sun Does Shine, I had a range of emotions. Right at the top I was angry. I was mad at the injustice of Anthony Ray Hinton being arrested for a crime he did not commit. Second, I was mad at the whole process of representation because he was poor. Then I was angry at how racist the whole judicial system is. Anthony said it best when he said judges traded their white robes for black. Hopeful that evidence in his case would set him free. He passed a polygraph test, but isn’t admissible in court. No weapon found, but the police found his mother’s gun that hadn’t been used in 25 years. Public defenders that wanted him to plead guilty to a lesser charge when he is innocent. Thirty years is a long time to be incarcerated for something he didn’t do. The resilience that Anthony had to make the best out of an unspeakable situation is nothing but inspirational. Was it faith or fate when civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson picked up his case? Either way it was what Anthony needed and deserved. “Alabama persists as the only state in the nation that allows elected trial judges to override jury verdicts of life imprisonment to death with no restrictions or standards.” Looks like lynching to me.It’s remarkable what Anthony Ray Hinton endured. All the while never losing hope. How he saw light in the darkest of situations is a lesson in faith I’ll remember and carry with me.Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press.
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  • Jennifer Blankfein
    January 1, 1970
    Follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope.In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair. He was a 29 year old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother. The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it s Follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope.In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair. He was a 29 year old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother. The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it should have and he chose not speak for the first 3 years of his incarceration. Rebelling in silence as he wavered between anger and despair, he anticipated being put to death in the electric chair, knowing he was innocent but unable to prove it, despite every bit of evidence indicating the truth.As time went on, and the legal system repeatedly failed him, Hinton decided to speak up, fight for justice, and he found a way to survive death row…for almost 30 years. Visitation with his mother and best friend, Lester kept his spirits up. He learned to exercise his imagination and transport himself to different times and places. Finding comfort in this, he wanted to share the pleasure of escaping with his fellow inmates and he started a book club. He researched the law while spending his allotted “free” time in the prison library. He sought out an attorney who had his best interests in mind and the drive to prove innocence. He befriended the most unlikely alleged criminals and created a supportive and caring family for himself; sadly 54 of them were executed during his incarceration.With joy and appreciation for his relentless attorney, the unwavering love and friendship of him mother and Lester, and genuine forgiveness in his heart, Anthony Ray Hinton was released in his late 50s, in 2015.This memoir was upsetting and joyful at the same time. The judicial system, race relations, prison conditions, and the death penalty all need to be reviewed, discussed, examined and improved so innocent people are not sent to jail, and people in jail are treated humanely. We are not meant to live in a 5 x 7 cell for any amount of time and these conditions with little human contact can contribute to negativity, violence and hopelessness. Putting people to death is barbaric and a poor precedent for a government of a free country to support. Anthony Ray Hinton had incredible strength of character and faith to be able to re-enter life outside prison and find joy and purpose. I admire his immense fortitude and ability to forgive.I highly recommend this book. Visit my blog Book Nation by Jen booknationbyjen.wordpress.com to see Oprah's interview with the author.
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  • Syl Sabastian
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful, emotional read. It's not every day we get to see life from a side we wouldn't ordinarily know. Experiencing the unimaginable is powerful because we tend to not believe what we can't imagine. When we do, and we know what we didn't before, we can't undo such knowing. Awareness is powerful, as is Understanding, both which don't always come easy. This amazing story, well delivered, adds to us human beings, providing a Perspective on the human condition which extends us as people. "The mo A powerful, emotional read. It's not every day we get to see life from a side we wouldn't ordinarily know. Experiencing the unimaginable is powerful because we tend to not believe what we can't imagine. When we do, and we know what we didn't before, we can't undo such knowing. Awareness is powerful, as is Understanding, both which don't always come easy. This amazing story, well delivered, adds to us human beings, providing a Perspective on the human condition which extends us as people. "The moment we treat others as less than human, that's the moment we become monsters." A quote which comes to mind for me to represent a deep Understanding from the book. A sharing of intimacy-of-being well worth reading.
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  • Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
    January 1, 1970
    He was a poor man in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. — Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row..Mr. Anthony Ray Hinton’s “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” was an emotional & difficult read, even more so because it’s a true story. I know so much has already been said about this, but it’s a powerful book of hope, love, and justice. Ultimately, h He was a poor man in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. — Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row..Mr. Anthony Ray Hinton’s “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” was an emotional & difficult read, even more so because it’s a true story. I know so much has already been said about this, but it’s a powerful book of hope, love, and justice. Ultimately, hopeful & inspiring, but the frustrating mistreatment & wrongful imprisonment of Mr. Hinton and prevalence of unfair justice system that continues to hurt people today, really broke my heart. Imagine spending nearly 30 years in a death row for crimes you didn’t commit? Not only was he working the night of crimes, but no evidences pointed to him of the crimes he was accused of; and to make things worse, the state created completely fake ballistic evidence to tie a gun found in Hinton’s mother’s home to all three murders, a gun that was covered in dust and have not been used in more than 25 years! .“One of his arresting officers explained his fate this way, after the prisoner told him he could prove he had been working at the time of one of the murders: “You know, I don’t even 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. You want to know why?” The cop gave Hinton “five reasons”. “Number one, you’re black. Number two, a white man gonna say you shot him. Number three, you’re gonna have a white district attorney. Number four, you’re gonna have a white judge. And number five, you’re gonna have an all-white jury.””.He was assigned to an incompetent lawyer at first, and every level of the Alabama court system continued to reject his appeals multiple times throughout the years. For the first thee years, he lived in complete silence — full of anger and despair, but slowly came to accept his fate, changed his spirit, forgave who had wronged him, and even affecting those around him. It really speaks volume of his good soul, he chose love over hate and hope over despair despite his dire & unfair circumstance. This book is an extraordinary testament to power of hope and human spirit. To this day, Mr. Hinton has not received an apology or compensation (not that you can put a price on one’s life) for his wrongful imprisonment..This book was collaboratively written with an author Lara Love Hardin, and I don’t know how that writing process works. However, I’ve seen few interviews of Mr. Hinton, and I feel like Mr. Hinton’s personality, experience, and voice were all well captured. I’m thinking Hardin was more of a guide on how to write than helping him with the story in itself, which he knows better than anyone. To read about the life in death row from a first-person account made this book even more compelling and shocking at times. Me. Hinton also has a good sense of humor & imagination that’ll put a smile on your face in between all the crying. And I think he’s also a great storyteller. When I watched some of his interviews, it’s really hard to believe that this is someone who has spent nearly 30 years in a death row, he’s so graceful, has sweet disposition, and is very articulate & calm..We can’t talk about Mr. Hinton without mentioning his extraordinarily incredible lawyer — civil rights attorney and bestselling author of “Just Mercy,” Bryan Stevenson, who worked tirelessly and helped Hinton win his release in 2015. I know there are angels living among us, and I strongly believe that Mr. Bryan Stevenson is one of them. I first learned about Mr. Stevenson through a TEDx talk he gave few years ago and have tremendous respect for the work he does. Mr. Stevenson is a distinguished Lawyer & NYU Professor of Law, and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative fighting for justice for the poor and people of color. If you have not watch his TEDx talk, I highly recommend it. In his book, Mr. Stevenson chronicles 30+ years of work he's done through EJI defending the poorest and most underrepresented amongst us, all while trying to create public awareness. Our criminal justice system is so broken and unfair, and you will clearly see it in work in the book through case studies presented. Thank you Mr. Hinton for generously sharing your story, it must’ve been hard to relive it, but it’s a story that needed to be written. I hope that everyone reads this book, it’s an essential, must-read for everyone!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    [4+] A powerful book about Anthony Ray Hinton's fight for justice (with the help of Bryan Stevenson) after being wrongly imprisoned and sentenced to death. The audio book was very well done and quite gripping. An excellent book to read after Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy." Bryan Stevenson is an American hero and should win the Nobel Peace prize.
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  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    "Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices and that knowledge rocked me. I could choose to give up or hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice."In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was accused of shooting a restaurant manager and of killing other tw0. Despite the fact that he had a solid alibi, and was in fact innocent of all charges, Hinton was found guilty and sentenced to death in Hol "Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices and that knowledge rocked me. I could choose to give up or hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice."In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was accused of shooting a restaurant manager and of killing other tw0. Despite the fact that he had a solid alibi, and was in fact innocent of all charges, Hinton was found guilty and sentenced to death in Holman State Prison. Hinton was only twenty-nine at the time and believed that soon his innocence would be proven. But year after year passed and he was no closer to reclaiming his freedom back. With the help of his dear friend Lester Bailey and attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton finally was freed after spending thirty years on death row. This is his incredible journey.I have no words. This book is just phenomenal. My emotions all over the place. Anthony Ray Hinton was on death row for as long as I have been alive. His crime? Being Black and poor. Hinton was tending to his mother's garden when he was arrested. Unaware of the charge, Hinton went with the officers and did not come back home. Accused of shooting a restaurant manager and of killing two others, Hinton denied any wrongdoing. Providing an alibi for the most recent attempt, that he was 15 miles away working in a secure facility, did nothing to sway the officers. With a white prosecutor with a chip on his shoulder, a white judge, a white jury and an incompetent lawyer Hinton was convicted. It did not matter that the gun found in his mother's home had not been fired in over two decades. Before there even was a trail, he was already guilty. Hinton spent the first 3 years behind bars in silence but the remaining 27 as one of the most vocal and beloved inmates (even by the officers). With wit and humour, Hinton soon established a rapport with his fellow prisioners. He knew that many of them were guilty of the crimes they were charged with but they became his family. His spirit was not crushed. Hinton never stopped believing in God or in the redemption of the human soul.One of the most profound and moving chapters for me was when Hinton described the book club. In discussing books with heavily charged race themes, he talks of the white and (former) KKK member that had lynched and killed a Black teen boy. This man was in a room with 6 black men "with nothing to lose" and yet all that happened was a deep and meaningful discussion. I did not expect to get emotional when this former KKK inmate was executed but the way Hinton tells it, it really touched me, made me shed tears. Hinton's greatest asset is his ability to forgive, quite a feat considering that people literally conspired against him to put in jail to die. I have to mention Lester Bailey, Hinton's best and most dear friend. Lester deserves an award. He never missed a visit, he looked after Hinton's mother and never turned his back to his friend. And what to say about Bryan Stevenson? He worked tirelessly for 15 years to free Hinton. I have so much respect for these three men. Do not walk, run to get this book. Intense, gripping, powerful, impacful and ultimately hopeful this is easily the best book I have read thus far this year. I know that I will not be forgetting it for a long time. Lester Bailey (left) and Anthony Ray Hinton upon being freed from jail. AP Photo/Hal YeagerBryan Stevenson (left) at press conference after the release of Anthony Ray Hinton. Source Ashley Cleek, WBHN.
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  • Raymond
    January 1, 1970
    "There is no sadder place to be in this world than a place where there's no hope. ""You need to hold on to your hope. If you have hope, you have everything.""The sun does shine." -Anthony Ray HintonHinton’s book is about his 30 years, roughly a generation, on death row for a crime he did not commit. It is just another example of how the criminal justice system is unfair to people of color and the poor. Through it all Hinton had a great support system: his mother, his friend Lester, and his lawye "There is no sadder place to be in this world than a place where there's no hope. ""You need to hold on to your hope. If you have hope, you have everything.""The sun does shine." -Anthony Ray HintonHinton’s book is about his 30 years, roughly a generation, on death row for a crime he did not commit. It is just another example of how the criminal justice system is unfair to people of color and the poor. Through it all Hinton had a great support system: his mother, his friend Lester, and his lawyer Bryan Stevenson who wrote the great book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. It is a great story of perseverance.
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  • Diane Yannick
    January 1, 1970
    This book hit me in the gut. Hard. Sure, I’ve read other books about men who have been wrongly convicted of murder and ended up on death row. Yet, somehow, this one put me inside those bars and held me there. Hinton told his story with grace, hope and forgiveness.Imagine for a minute having an ironclad alibi that no one will even bother to check out. Your state assigned lawyer is pathetic and mostly cares about the fact that he’s only getting paid $1000. Hinton begged to be heard. It wasn’t unti This book hit me in the gut. Hard. Sure, I’ve read other books about men who have been wrongly convicted of murder and ended up on death row. Yet, somehow, this one put me inside those bars and held me there. Hinton told his story with grace, hope and forgiveness.Imagine for a minute having an ironclad alibi that no one will even bother to check out. Your state assigned lawyer is pathetic and mostly cares about the fact that he’s only getting paid $1000. Hinton begged to be heard. It wasn’t until Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative) arrived that anyone took the time to listen. Being a poor black man in Alabama in the 1980’s was a curse beyond my white imagination. The judges who sent the most men to death row were held in the highest esteem. It wasn’t his innocence which affected me the most; it was his grace. At first he didn’t speak to anyone for any reason. Soon he convinced himself that “hope is a choice”. Waiting to die was no way to live. As his fellow death row mates were led to the electric chair, he and the others pounded on the bars to let the victim know that he wasn’t alone. Absolutely heartbreaking passages. The love between Hinton, his mom and his best friend Lester was beautiful. May we all have just one friend as loyal as Lester. “We are all more than the worst thing we’ve done.” Hinton’s worst thing had to do with a car theft NOT murder. His mother and Lester never for a single minute doubted his innocence. “Every single one of us wants to matter. We want our lives, and our stories, and the choices we made or didn’t make to matter.” For awhile, he was able to run a book club in prison for those on death row. He gave others something to think about other than the clock ticking toward their death dates. He gave hope and listened to others. “I was born with the same gift from God as we’re all born with—the impulse to reach out and lessen the suffering of another human being.”The book ended as powerfully as it began. As I read the names of the people currently on death row, I felt nauseous. How many more innocent names are on that list? We can at least do these two things: recognize that our system is broken. END THE DEATH PENALTY.
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  • Kyleigh M
    January 1, 1970
    What an eye-opener! I had no idea that death row was so horrific and terrifying. As Anthony Ray Hinton says in the book, "Can we judge who deserves to live and who deserves to die?" My answer is no. He experienced so much and was mercilessly robbed thirty years of his life and was innocent the entire time. No one deserves that. At the end of the book, he gives you a list of names of people who are on death row as of March 2017. There are 1071 names on that list. 1071. (Yes I counted.) He tells y What an eye-opener! I had no idea that death row was so horrific and terrifying. As Anthony Ray Hinton says in the book, "Can we judge who deserves to live and who deserves to die?" My answer is no. He experienced so much and was mercilessly robbed thirty years of his life and was innocent the entire time. No one deserves that. At the end of the book, he gives you a list of names of people who are on death row as of March 2017. There are 1071 names on that list. 1071. (Yes I counted.) He tells you to put yourself or your parents on that list. See how it changes your thoughts. He says to read the names out loud and after every 10 say "innocent." All those people had a life. Were brought up to think a certain way or to have certain beliefs. Some were luckier than others growing up. Hinton had a life just like anyone else before he was wrongly convicted. He missed his best friends wedding. He missed the new technology that came out (email, debit cards, the GPS). He even missed his own mother's death. Why? Because people were (and sometimes still are) biased. He was black and they were white. He was poor and they were wealthier. How can someone sleep at night knowing they sent an innocent man to his death regardless of his skin color? I don't know. Everyone should read this book and see how it changes their views. It totally changed mine.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    5 ☆ An inspiring story that just broke my heart.. I literally had tears streaming down my face. This is one of the worst miscarriages of justice I’ve heard of due to the state of Alabama’s racial prejudice. Anthony was arrested, tried and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit + sentenced to death. In his 30 years spent on death row Anthony maintained his belief in God that he’d be exonerated + fought the system while keeping his mammas core value system intact by showing forgiveness, love, kind 5 ☆ An inspiring story that just broke my heart.. I literally had tears streaming down my face. This is one of the worst miscarriages of justice I’ve heard of due to the state of Alabama’s racial prejudice. Anthony was arrested, tried and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit + sentenced to death. In his 30 years spent on death row Anthony maintained his belief in God that he’d be exonerated + fought the system while keeping his mammas core value system intact by showing forgiveness, love, kindness, hope + optimism. This book. Wow, just WOW. It’s an AMAZING story. Keep the Kleenex handy because Anthony’s story will definitely tug hard at your heartstrings. A must read that I highly recommend!!
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, this was such a heartbreaking read.It also had my blood boiling. Who are these people elected in to play God? The State of Alabama should be so embarrassed.This was such an interesting and touching story. I read a lot of it with (I'm sure) a shocked look on my face when I could not believe all the imbecile moves being played behind the scenes with Hinton's life.I really found the part about Henry very interesting, as well.Good luck on any and all future endeavors Mr. Hinton. You deserve it. Wow, this was such a heartbreaking read.It also had my blood boiling. Who are these people elected in to play God? The State of Alabama should be so embarrassed.This was such an interesting and touching story. I read a lot of it with (I'm sure) a shocked look on my face when I could not believe all the imbecile moves being played behind the scenes with Hinton's life.I really found the part about Henry very interesting, as well.Good luck on any and all future endeavors Mr. Hinton. You deserve it.Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Would you have the capacity to forgive those who stole almost three decades of your life through hatred and ignorance? Anthony Ray Hinton was falsely convicted of two counts of murder in a travesty of justice in 1985. Subsequent appeals were further abortions in the courts. Why? Anthony Ray Hinton was a young, poor black man, who had broken the law before so in the “wisdom” of the Alabama judicial system, he was sentenced to death by electrocution. Almost three decades of his life was spent on D Would you have the capacity to forgive those who stole almost three decades of your life through hatred and ignorance? Anthony Ray Hinton was falsely convicted of two counts of murder in a travesty of justice in 1985. Subsequent appeals were further abortions in the courts. Why? Anthony Ray Hinton was a young, poor black man, who had broken the law before so in the “wisdom” of the Alabama judicial system, he was sentenced to death by electrocution. Almost three decades of his life was spent on Death Row, in spite of compelling evidence that proved he could not have been the killer. Almost three decades of the life he could have had were lost forever, the children he could have fathered, the love he could have shared, any potential for contributing to society at large, gone. Who knows, maybe he would have fathered the child who grew up to cure cancer or who led the world to true peace?What Mr. Hinton did was just as miraculous, he changed himself, he sought peace of mind, he sought knowledge and he brought people together in the name of hope and justice. He also found a man brave enough to say, I believe in you and I will fight for you when Attorney Bryan Stevenson took his case.Today, Anthony Ray Hinton is a free man. Today he advocates justice and forgiveness and he believes in a God who never gave him more than he could bear. He has written of his grueling journey to freedom so the world will not forget what hatred and injustice are. He has written a book filled with undying hope through all that was lost. THE SUN DOES SHINE is compelling, riveting, shocking, appalling and simply astounding to realize that while we went on with our lives, someone should have to fight so desperately for their own.A MUST read, no matter who you are, because once read, it will NOT be forgotten, or should this dark piece of human failings ever have to be repeated.I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Press!Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 27, 2018)Publication Date: March 27, 2018Genre: Non-Fiction | Racism | Social SciencesPrint Length: 272 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Caryn
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most important nonfiction books I’ve ever read was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. He does an excellent job about teaching us how unjust the justice system is and follows several cases where innocent men were sent to prison or death row for crimes they did not commit.When I saw he wrote the forward for this memoir, I knew I had to read it. Anthony Ray Hinton was put on death row at age 29 for crimes he was completely innocent of. Eventually, he got Bryan Stevenson to work on his case. One of the most important nonfiction books I’ve ever read was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. He does an excellent job about teaching us how unjust the justice system is and follows several cases where innocent men were sent to prison or death row for crimes they did not commit.When I saw he wrote the forward for this memoir, I knew I had to read it. Anthony Ray Hinton was put on death row at age 29 for crimes he was completely innocent of. Eventually, he got Bryan Stevenson to work on his case. It took years of work and filings and pleadings, but eventually the Supreme Court reversed his conviction.What was so stunning about this book was how positive an outlook Ray had. Yes, he absolutely had his dark days and times when he felt sorry for himself, but overall he was making the other inmates laugh and doing what he could to make the best of his situation.I’m still astonished that this still happens in our court systems today. I was shocked at how easily they made the man fit the evidence instead of the other way around. If you watched Making a Murderer, you’ll want to read this book.Thank you to Anthony Ray Hinton for writing it and the work he’s doing now with his limited free time to make sure it doesn’t happen to others. He was put on this earth for a reason and this is his.I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads program.
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