Anthony Ray Hinton to Speak at Asheville School During Civil Rights Week
Anthony Ray Hinton spent the last 29 years on Alabama’s death row for a 1985 double robbery-murder that he did not commit. His attorney, Bryan Stevenson, the author of the best-selling memoir and new film “Just Mercy,” appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ultimately led to Hinton’s exoneration in April of 2015.
Hinton will speak to Asheville School students and faculty members on Thursday, January 16 at 7:15 p.m. to kick off Asheville School’s Civil Rights Day festivities on January 17. Hinton’s New York Times bestselling book, “The Sun Does Shine” was selected for Oprah’s Summer 2018 Book Club, a book many faculty members at Asheville School read over the holiday break. The event is closed to the public, but it will be streamed live by LocalLive at ashevilleschool.org/live.
“Mr. Hinton’s story is one of hope,” said Assistant Dean of Faculty Varghese Alexander. “His life reveals how someone can draw bigger circles and create a family even in the harshest of circumstances. His friends and family sustained him, and now he shares his story in a hope that we can revisit the systems and policies that took him away from his mother.”
While relieved to be off death row, Hinton talks often to groups and the media about his time in prison for a wrongful conviction, and the difficulties exonerees have adjusting to life after exoneration, even with the smallest, mundane things we take for granted: “It took me a little while to remember how to use a fork. You know we don’t use forks in the penitentiary. You get a spoon. And the spoon is plastic, so I haven’t used a fork in 30 years. I just really tried to order something that didn’t make me look like I didn’t have any home training. It’s like learning everything over again.”
Hinton was one of the longest serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and among the longest serving condemned prisoners to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence. Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1983. Click here to read more about Mr. Hinton’s story or listen here to the 2015 NPR Fresh Air interview with Hinton’s attorney, Bryan Stevenson.