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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

Malaysia: Vietnamese Mom Escapes Gallows, Jailed 20 Years for Drug Trafficking

Meth bust at Malaysian airport (File photo)
Meth bust at a Malaysian airport (File photo)
March 28, 2016: A Vietnamese woman shed tears of joy in court after she was spared the gallows in Malaysia for allegedly trafficking in 2.1kg methamphetamine at the Penang International Airport in 2011.

Nguyen Thanh Ngoc Tuyet, 28, in red and white prison clothes, who was sitting in the dock was seen sobbing when the Federal Court announced its verdict to set aside her conviction for drug trafficking.

However, the mother of a child, would have to spend 20 years in jail after the Federal Court’s five-man panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif convicted her for possession of the drugs.

He, however, ruled that on totality of evidence, the court was satisfied that Nguyen Thanh was in custody of a bag in which the methamphetamine was concealed.

Nguyen Thanh was found guilty by the George Town High Court on July 18, 2012 for trafficking in the drugs at the arrival hall of the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas at 10.10am on June 26, 2011 and was sentenced to death.

She lost her appeal at the Court of Appeal on March 20, last year to set aside her conviction and death sentence even though two Vietnamese police officers had testified that they had recorded statements from a woman named Tran Tranh Tam who had said that she had did not tell Nguyen Thanh that the goods she was transporting was drugs but instead told her they were clothes.

Nguyen Thanh was allowed by the Court of Appeal to bring in new evidence in the form of two police statements and oral evidence of three Vietnamese witnesses including Tran Tranh.

However, Tran Thanh who was serving an eight-year jail sentence in Vietnam for selling drugs chose not to come to Malaysia to testify.

In her defence, Nguyen Thanh claimed that she had picked up the bag (in which drugs were found) belonging to her friend Tran Tranh and she had no knowledge of the contents of the bag.

In mitigation for a lenient jail sentence, her counsel K. Simon Murali said Nguyen Thanh was an innocent victim who was manipulated by her friend and African boyfriend to act as drug mule.

He said his client has yet to see her daughter who was only one month old when she (Nguyen Thanh) was arrested in 2011.

Source: Bernama, March 28, 2016


Malaysia: Home Ministry says 12 executed in last 6 years

Malaysia has executed 12 out of a total 829 people who were sentenced to death since 2010, the Home Ministry said today.

In a written parliamentary reply to Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, the ministry added that 95 others have received either a royal pardon or had their death sentence commuted.

"The sentence has been handed out due to the offences of murder, drug trafficking, smuggling firearms, and also kidnapping," the ministry said.

Gobind had asked the government to give a breakdown on the death sentences meted out since 2010.

Last week, prison authorities came under criticism for what was described by Amnesty International as the "secretive" hanging of a 34-year-old man at the Taiping prison.

This was because Gunasegaran Pitchaymuthu was reportedly given very short notice regarding his execution.

Discussions and debates to abolish death penalty in Malaysia, especially under the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) had been taking place in Malaysia since 2011, but no legislative amendments had been proposed to date.

Source: themalaymailonline.com, March 30, 2016

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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.