The Sun Does Shine
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

The Sun Does Shine Details

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

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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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    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 Steven 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 stars Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press, and especially to Ray Hinton, for allowing me to read and review this book. Published March 27, 2018. I laughed, I was happy, I cried, I was sad. However to the unread observer you could never have imagined at what points in the story those feelings occurred. Or if I was possibly crying because I was so happy. This book provided an avalanche of emotion. Anthony 'Ray' Hinton was happy living his life - caring for his mother, attending church, 4.25 stars Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press, and especially to Ray Hinton, for allowing me to read and review this book. Published March 27, 2018. I laughed, I was happy, I cried, I was sad. However to the unread observer you could never have imagined at what points in the story those feelings occurred. Or if I was possibly crying because I was so happy. This book provided an avalanche of emotion. Anthony 'Ray' Hinton was happy living his life - caring for his mother, attending church, working a job he did not mind, and appeasing for the wrongs he had done as a young man. His only crime was being a black man in Alabama in the mid 80's. Ray was wrongly convicted of robbery and the murder of three men, with a gun that had not been fired in 25 years. This book, written by him, was his journey through the unjust Alabama justice system, his many lawyers and appeals and his confinement for 30 years on Death Row. How many men and women are currently sitting on Death Row? By Hinton's count, in 2017, it is 976 in the United States and 1 out of every 10 is innocent.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    You need to read this book! Heart-wrenchingly tragic and extremely inspiring - written with true flair and style.
  • 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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  • 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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  • Jaime
    January 1, 1970
    The Sun Does Shine is a eye opening memoir about a guy who was falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to die. You know you are in for a deep read when you read the synopsis. However, you should not let that stop you from reading this book. While reading this, I felt a deep sorrow for Anthony while learning about his family history, his upbringing and lack of opportunities. You feel the gravity of the injustice that Anthony suffered through by reading about his experience and his lost time and The Sun Does Shine is a eye opening memoir about a guy who was falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to die. You know you are in for a deep read when you read the synopsis. However, you should not let that stop you from reading this book. While reading this, I felt a deep sorrow for Anthony while learning about his family history, his upbringing and lack of opportunities. You feel the gravity of the injustice that Anthony suffered through by reading about his experience and his lost time and suffering. If you want a book to stay with you, I'd recommend picking this one up. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review The Sun Does Shine.
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  • Mackenzie H
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I seriously can not find any other words to express how I feel after reading this book. And even that doesn't do it justice. When I saw this book on here and read the description, I knew I had to read it. The Sun Does Shine is about a man, Anthony Ray Hinton, who was charged and arrested with two counts of capitol murder in Alabama. Anthony was only twenty-nine years old at the time. Hinton was stunned and confused. The only reasonable and logical explanation for this accusation was a case Wow. I seriously can not find any other words to express how I feel after reading this book. And even that doesn't do it justice. When I saw this book on here and read the description, I knew I had to read it. The Sun Does Shine is about a man, Anthony Ray Hinton, who was charged and arrested with two counts of capitol murder in Alabama. Anthony was only twenty-nine years old at the time. Hinton was stunned and confused. The only reasonable and logical explanation for this accusation was a case of mistaken identity. Hinton strongly believed that the truth would prove him to be innocent and would then set him free. But from the beginning, I knew that wasn't going to be the case. Hinton was a poor black man that had no money, lived in the South, and was living in a poor and unfair justice system. Due to that, Anthony was sentenced to death by electrocution. Anthony spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison. Anthony describes in his book that he felt how each prison was feeling while they were walking to their death. Not only that, but he felt angry and rage towards everyone that sent an innocent man to prison. But that didn't stop Anthony from living. He found a way to help others, himself, and just be a better man. One of the most heartbreaking things that I had to read in this book was that most of the men he helped "transform," were eventually executed only a few feet away from. That broke my heart. A man worked so hard to help others for them only to be executed. But in 2015, from the help of civil rights attorneys and an author named Ryan Stevenson, he was released. This book shines light on so many important topics. For example, how the justice system was in the South for a black man. Not only a black man, but a poor, black man. It tells that story about a man who came out on top and came out a better man after his imprisonment. This is truly the most inspiring story I have ever read. Ands probably ever will read. I HIGHLY recommend this book to each and every single person.
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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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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    This one was so good! I'm familiar with Bryan Stevenson's work, so it was good to read this one from a death row prisoner's perspective.Ray Hinton is an amazing man and his story is just a travesty of justice in Alabama. I can't believe that it took the state of Alabama so long to admit their mistakes. It hurts my heart to think about how many other men and women have been executed when they were innocent. And how many years were wasted in jail. This book does a good job detailing the journey th This one was so good! I'm familiar with Bryan Stevenson's work, so it was good to read this one from a death row prisoner's perspective.Ray Hinton is an amazing man and his story is just a travesty of justice in Alabama. I can't believe that it took the state of Alabama so long to admit their mistakes. It hurts my heart to think about how many other men and women have been executed when they were innocent. And how many years were wasted in jail. This book does a good job detailing the journey that Ray took from being silent for years when he first was on death row to befriending other prisoners and starting a book club. I found it particularly fascinating the interactions with the KKK prisoner and how his outlook changed being on death row.I would like more people to read books like this! I'm giving it to my teenage son to read. The more I read in this justice space, the more my thoughts are being challenged on the death penalty.
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    Extremely well written, reads like a novel and is impossible to put down for very long.This book needs to be read by everyone.
  • Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Finished reading: March 11th 2018 "And with that laughter, I realized that the State of Alabama could steal my future and my freedom, but they couldn't steal my soul or my humanity." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[I was intrigued by the premise of The Sun Does Shine as soon as I first read the blurb. I have a weak spot for memoirs, and Anthony Ray Hinton's story is without do Finished reading: March 11th 2018 "And with that laughter, I realized that the State of Alabama could steal my future and my freedom, but they couldn't steal my soul or my humanity." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[I was intrigued by the premise of The Sun Does Shine as soon as I first read the blurb. I have a weak spot for memoirs, and Anthony Ray Hinton's story is without doubt one that will be able to catch your attention straight away. I knew right from the start this wasn't going to be an easy read, but it is almost impossible to wrap your head around all that the author has had to go through during all that time. Powerful, infuriating, heartbreaking and with a dose of hope and forgiveness... The Sun Does Shine is one of the best true crime memoirs I have read to this date, and his story will stay with me for a long time. Why did this memoir have such an impact on me? Let's see if I can explain my reasons... In a nutshell, this memoir is about the life of a man who had to spend thirty years on death row despite being innocent and having a solid alibi. His crime? Being born poor and black in the South (Alabama), a place where he ended up being judged by the color of his skin and the money in his pocket instead of the simple fact he was guilty or not. This fact alone will be enough to enrage you, one infuriating detail of his case after the other causing sparks and making you want to scream and pull at your hairs. How is it possible that in 1985 things like this still happened? Incriminating an innocent man with a solid alibi, discriminating him and denying him his rights? It made me want to travel back in time and just tell those persons involved in his case what I really thought of them. The Sun Does Shine talks about the author growing up as well as the difficulties he has had to face during his entire life, even long before he was wrongly convicted of a crime. Racial segregation and discrimination is an important element in this memoir, and even though Anthony Ray Hinton never points a direct finger at the guilty and even stresses he forgives them, it shows us readers just how wrong the system was and still is in Southern Alabama. It's a topic that has always touched me, and it is very well described in this memoir.But this memoir isn't just about injustice and racial discrimination. Like the author stresses, it is also about hope and forgiveness, which shines through in his writing and underlying message. His experience during all those years on death row is fascinating to read, as well as describing his personal relationships with fellow inmates and how the experience truly changes men. While I believe in punishment for those who have committed crimes, I don't think death row is a solution. Like Anthony Ray Hinton said, who are we to judge who is innocent and who deserves to die? And then I'm not even thinking about possibly innocent men and women killed because of a mistake during their trials. Anthony Ray Hinton's case shows us just how wrong things can go, sending an innocent man to spend thirty years of his life on death row. I'm truly impressed and inspired by his view of life and ability for forgiveness. I can recommend this memoir to everyone; it is a true eye-opener.In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with robbery and two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Hinton was working the night the last robbery took place and had a solid alibi, so he knew it was a case of mistaken identity and believed the truth would soon set him free. But the fact that he was innocent didn't mean anything to those in charge of the trial, and with no money and simply being a poor black man in the South, he was sentenced to death soon after. He spent the first three years on Death Row at Holan State Prison without speaking a word to anyone except those who believe in his innocence. His initial anger and despair of being sent to his death as an innocent man changed when he realized he had to accept his fate, and he was determined to not only survive and prove his innocence, but also find a way to live on Death Row.Powerful, inspiring, infuriating, heartbreaking, but also full of hope and forgiveness. The Sun Does Shine shows us how racial discrimination and prejudice helped send an innocent man to death row and keep him there for thirty years despite solid proof of his innocence. The pure injustice of it all makes you want to scream, but both his case and experience is very well documented in this memoir and makes for a painful, but inspiring, intriguing and very powerful read. I'm truly impressed by his views on life and his ability to be able to forgive the unforgivable. Highly recommended! (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.
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  • George
    January 1, 1970
    POWERFUL AND COMPELLING.“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.”—from the introduction by Bryan Stevenson (p. ix)“But pain and tragedy and injustice 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.” (p. 1)A little over a month ago, April 6th, 2018, at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, Californi POWERFUL AND COMPELLING.“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.”—from the introduction by Bryan Stevenson (p. ix)“But pain and tragedy and injustice 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.” (p. 1)A little over a month ago, April 6th, 2018, at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California, I shook the hand of Anthony Ray Hinton—a convicted murderer. For that honor, for the chance to hear Ray tell his own story of the almost thirty years he’d spent on Death Row, and especially because he was innocent; I’m glad the state of Alabama didn’t kill him.But how does one manage to feel the joy due when an innocent man regains his freedom, after decades in hell? “Loss and grief and a cold madness that defied words floated in the grime and filth that we were all coated in. Hell was real, and it had an address and a name. Death Row, Holman Prison. Where love and hope went to die.” (p. 95) Kudos to Ray Hinton for doing the improbable and hanging in there. And for sharing his incredible story. Large kudos also to Attorney Bryan Stevenson (be sure to read his book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption), and his Equal Justice Initiative for the wonders they are working. Recommendation: The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, by Anthony Ray Hinton is a MUST READ.“You can’t threaten to kill someone every day year after year and not harm them, not traumatize them, not break them in ways that are really profound.” —Bryan Stevenson (p. 230) St. Martin's Press. Kindle Edition, 255 pages
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    What makes this book less brutal to read is knowing that Ray walks out of prison and away from the death sentence he was handed as an innocent man. What makes this book more brutal to read is knowing there are many other Rays sitting on death row who may never see that fate.I've always been fascinated with prison stories -- fiction and nonfiction. I'm firmly against the death penalty, and believe that we have the means as human beings to do better when it comes to criminal justice and rehabilita What makes this book less brutal to read is knowing that Ray walks out of prison and away from the death sentence he was handed as an innocent man. What makes this book more brutal to read is knowing there are many other Rays sitting on death row who may never see that fate.I've always been fascinated with prison stories -- fiction and nonfiction. I'm firmly against the death penalty, and believe that we have the means as human beings to do better when it comes to criminal justice and rehabilitation. Ray's story isn't about crime and punishment, though. He was an innocent man who, prior to being framed for murders he didn't commit, made some sophomoric mistakes that he has no problem owning up to. Those mistakes were borne not from evil but from desperation and from his own background growing up poor, black, and outside Birmingham. It was those very things that led to his wrongful conviction. Ray is an unbelievably positive human throughout his story. He waited 30 years for justice, and despite the fact nothing was ever expected of him on death row, he didn't sit and wait for the inevitable. He not only fought for his innocence, but he made his life and the lives of those around him better. He began a book club with fellow inmates that helped give them all something to look forward to, a way to pass time that allowed camaraderie in what is otherwise a lonely place. He kept faith, over and over again, despite the fact he saw the cards stacked against him.We're lucky he can tell this story. But what a damn shame he has to.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful story that will stay with me for some time. I cannot even begin to put to words how i feel about this innocent man who spent 30 yrs on death row for a crime he did not commit. It should never have happened, but sadly there's no doubt that there are more innocent people currently behind bars. Makes you wonder how many. I am so grateful that here in the UK we have no death penalty. The Jury system does need to change, even here in the UK. I would highly recommend this book, which was ve A powerful story that will stay with me for some time. I cannot even begin to put to words how i feel about this innocent man who spent 30 yrs on death row for a crime he did not commit. It should never have happened, but sadly there's no doubt that there are more innocent people currently behind bars. Makes you wonder how many. I am so grateful that here in the UK we have no death penalty. The Jury system does need to change, even here in the UK. I would highly recommend this book, which was very well written. This is a book that i shall read again one day. My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for providing me with this copy. This is my honest review.
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  • Jade
    January 1, 1970
    If you are on the fence about the necessity of the death penalty I suggest you read The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. If you believe in the need for a death sentence, I also suggest you read it with open eyes and ears. Actually, everyone should read Hinton’s memoir, because it is in my opinion a necessary read on how broken the US justice system really is. And more: it is the story of how an innocent man spent nearly 30 years on Death Row in Alabama, and continued to fight for freedom wh If you are on the fence about the necessity of the death penalty I suggest you read The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. If you believe in the need for a death sentence, I also suggest you read it with open eyes and ears. Actually, everyone should read Hinton’s memoir, because it is in my opinion a necessary read on how broken the US justice system really is. And more: it is the story of how an innocent man spent nearly 30 years on Death Row in Alabama, and continued to fight for freedom when most people would have given up. Hinton is a true hero, a man who lived through hell year after year after year, and still manages to see so much positive in everything.Anthony Ray Hinton, Ray, was arrested and convicted of a crime he could not have committed, by a prejudiced judge, jury, and court-appointed attorney. The details of the case are abhorrent: no jury should EVER have deemed this man guilty of the crimes the police said he had committed. On top of this, his appeals were continuously thrown out, the state of Alabama obviously not interested in admitting that they had sentenced an innocent man to death. It wasn’t until Bryan Stevenson started to work with Ray that things started to look up, but even then it took many more years for Ray’s conviction to be thrown out the court and for him to be released.The Sun Does Shine is a memoir of 30 lost years, of absolute darkness, but it is also ultimately a story of hope, of love, of friendship and of forgiveness. Hinton’s innate need to care for others is absolutely uplifting, and his ability to navigate through darkness to see the light in everything is remarkable. I don’t believe that we have the right to sentence anyone to death, no matter the crime, and The Sun Does Shine has me all the more convinced that we need to fight so much harder to get it removed.As Ray mentions at the end of the book, we should assume that every 10th person currently on death row is innocent. Should we be able to live with that?The Sun Does Shine will be published by St. Martin’s Press on Marc 27th. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!
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  • Traci
    January 1, 1970
    The Sun Does Shine. Wow. What an incredible story. I was outraged just reading the introduction. This is the very personal life story of a man wrongfully accused. I highlighted in my kindle as I read and found that there were just TOO many beautiful lines to highlight them all.At the very beginning of the book Hinton gets up in court to defend himself. It was moving. Hinton took advantage of the awful moment to tell those trying to convict them that he loves them and was praying for them. Every The Sun Does Shine. Wow. What an incredible story. I was outraged just reading the introduction. This is the very personal life story of a man wrongfully accused. I highlighted in my kindle as I read and found that there were just TOO many beautiful lines to highlight them all.At the very beginning of the book Hinton gets up in court to defend himself. It was moving. Hinton took advantage of the awful moment to tell those trying to convict them that he loves them and was praying for them. Every moment that Hinton spoke of his mother was touching. He loves and respects her greatly. I cannot speak highly enough of this book and of Hinton. He owns the things that he has done wrong, and does not allow his conviction to break his soul. Incredible. "I'm not worried about that death chair. You can sentence me to it, but you can't take my life. It don't belong to you. My soul, you can't touch it. " Beauitiful. Heartbreaking. Enraging.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely a story that needs to be shouted from rooftops. Reform is necessary. I think the author raised wonderful questions worthy of discussion and attention. He drew attention to the holes in our justice system and those who seem to be railroaded by it. But he also told his story and how he handled 30 years on death row knowing he was innocent of all charges. His story is tragic. I was wowed by his determination, his love of family, and his indomitable spirit. 5 stars for all of that This is definitely a story that needs to be shouted from rooftops. Reform is necessary. I think the author raised wonderful questions worthy of discussion and attention. He drew attention to the holes in our justice system and those who seem to be railroaded by it. But he also told his story and how he handled 30 years on death row knowing he was innocent of all charges. His story is tragic. I was wowed by his determination, his love of family, and his indomitable spirit. 5 stars for all of that. So why 3 stars and not the full 5? There was a lot of repetition in this. When I listen to the audiobooks, that form of media seems to amplify the repetition. I knew I had already heard parts of this, not just once but several times. I'm not a fan of that and it grates on me. So 3 stars.
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  • sarah morgan
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! This is a must-read memoir. Somewhere in the middle of Ray's story about his 30 years on Alabama's death row, I realized he'd been wrongfully convicted while I was still in nursing school (1985). While he survived and watched 54 prisoners walk past his cell to be electrocuted, I graduated with a BS, worked a 20-year career, raised my kids, married again, built a house, and traveled. Ray stayed in his 5 x 8-foot cell 23 hours a day and fought for the truth. The enormity of the injustice is s WOW! This is a must-read memoir. Somewhere in the middle of Ray's story about his 30 years on Alabama's death row, I realized he'd been wrongfully convicted while I was still in nursing school (1985). While he survived and watched 54 prisoners walk past his cell to be electrocuted, I graduated with a BS, worked a 20-year career, raised my kids, married again, built a house, and traveled. Ray stayed in his 5 x 8-foot cell 23 hours a day and fought for the truth. The enormity of the injustice is staggering. Convicted of two murders on false testimony, trumped-up ballistics reports, and underrepresented by a court-appointed lawyer, 29-year-old Ray was sentenced to death. It is only because of who he is as a person and an incredible lawyer who believed in him that the prosecution eventually dropped the charges. But it took the Supreme Court of the United States to make them do it. They have yet to apologize or compensate him for the lost years. While incarcerated Ray, at first filled with hate for everyone involved, learned to forgive. He became a model for others, formed a book club, and practiced compassion for others. The way he survived those endless days and nights is a most extraordinary tale. At the end of the book, there is a list of men sitting on death row in the United States as of March 2017. As Ray points out, statistics show that one out of every ten of them is innocent. The list is long. Too long. Read them all, he says, and pause at every tenth name and say…"innocent." I'd also like to give a shout out to Lara Love Hardin who helped Ray tell his story. Her words moved me deeply and made this book a more than compelling read.
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  • Michelle Sibley
    January 1, 1970
    A hard book to review. You can’t say it’s a good book as actually it’s horrendous, meet Ray, an innocent man who spent 30 years on death row, at times I felt like this was just a story, pages of fiction, but then it would hit that this is actually someone life. It’s absolutely shocking the way this case was handled. An interesting read and as close to death row as you’d ever want to get. Interesting side story’s with other fellow death row prisoners that lead to interesting google searches. Well A hard book to review. You can’t say it’s a good book as actually it’s horrendous, meet Ray, an innocent man who spent 30 years on death row, at times I felt like this was just a story, pages of fiction, but then it would hit that this is actually someone life. It’s absolutely shocking the way this case was handled. An interesting read and as close to death row as you’d ever want to get. Interesting side story’s with other fellow death row prisoners that lead to interesting google searches. Well worth a read and I will definitely follow Ray’s progress.
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