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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…

Turkish PM warns Juncker of ‘threatening statements’

Turkey responded to the head of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent article published in a German weekly considering Turkey’s re-installation of the death penalty as a red line in Turkey’s bid to join the EU bloc.

“No one can make threatening statements on Turkey’s sovereign rights,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said.

The EU is making “confusing statements,” accused Yıldırım while addressing his party’s parliament group on July 18.

“Those threatening us to close the EU doors to Turkey should know that the EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU,” Yıldırım said.

Those who are responsible should refrain from these kinds of statements that can harm channels of dialogue, he added.

The European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged Turkey to uphold democratic values if it hopes to join the European Union on July 16, a year after the failed coup.

Juncker’s comments came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech to parliament on the anniversary of the attempted coup, following mass rallies in Ankara and Istanbul.

“Whoever wants to join the European Union is joining a union of values,” Juncker wrote in an op-ed for German weekly Bild Sonntag.

“Europe’s hand remains outstretched” but it expects that “Turkey too should clearly show its European colors and emphatically take basic European values to heart,” he added.

In his speech, Erdoğan had vowed to sign any bill lawmakers pass on reintroducing the death penalty.

The European Commission is in charge of accession negotiations for prospective new members, with Turkey’s dossier largely frozen since last July’s failed coup attempt.

In his article, Juncker warned in particular against the detention of journalists without trial including Deniz Yücel of German daily Die Welt.

This was “in no way compatible with a union of human rights, press freedom and the rule of law,” he said.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, July 18, 2017

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