For 30 years, Anthony Ray Hinton, author of “The Sun Does Shine,” served in solitary confinement in Alabama jails, convicted of murders he did not commit.
He was 29 when he went to prison and was not released until 2015.
We know there are wrongful convictions that lead to death row and executions. When spoken of in the abstract, we seem to take such horrors as conditions of life.
When face to face with a man who lives the horrors, as happens in this read, one realizes these unjustified deaths and convictions are far more than numbers.
Somehow Hinton stayed sane and humane over those 30 years. A modicum of humanity within you will lead to tears, anger and heartbreak as you read his words.
How does one find meaning in life and hope for a future under such conditions?
You learn how there is communication among those in solitary confinement, even if never face to face.
There are the unimaginable obstacles in seeking help by those such as Hinton. The legal system would rather not confront the mistakes-let those who suffer be forgotten.
The savior for Hinton was attorney Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala.
On the organization’s website it says: “Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. ... Mr. Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including major projects to educate communities about slavery, lynching and racial segregation. Mr. Stevenson is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.”
Works such as this are necessary in remembering that whatever the injustice, it is not acceptable. Heaven has a place for Hinton and Stevenson and those who refuse to submit to wrongs of the most egregious variety.
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Two Towers”
Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2018 season is his 12th with the club and 33nd covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 7th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March. 180 children participated last year.
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