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

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…

Japan to introduce plea bargaining on June 1

Tokyo Detention Center
TOKYO - The Japanese government on Friday decided to introduce the right to plea bargain on June 1 by putting into force a revised law on criminal proceedings.

In addition to crimes related to drug, gun and bribery cases as stipulated in the law, the cabinet approved a decree to expand the scope of plea bargaining to crimes involving breaching of antitrust and financial instrument as well as exchange laws.

While plea bargaining is expected to help in the prosecution of organized crime, lawyers and legal scholars have warned that it could result in false statements leading to charges against innocent people.

The decree also covers the bankruptcy law, patent law, trademark law and copyright law. Organized fraud is also among crimes falling within the scope of plea bargaining in the revised criminal proceedings law.

Under the law, prosecutors may agree not to seek indictment, seek prosecution for less serious charges or demand lighter penalties if a suspect or defendant provides evidence or depositions against accomplices.

The suspect or defendant may agree to do so only if the defense lawyer's consent is given in a written document, which is to be signed by the suspect or defendant, the lawyer and the prosecutors.

The revision in the criminal proceedings law is part of an overhaul of Japan's criminal investigation and trial systems. The law was enacted in May 24, 2016 and promulgated on June 3 the same year. It is supposed to take effect within two years of its promulgation.

A stipulation in the law obliging police and prosecutors to record interrogations of suspects in certain serious cases subject to lay judge trials and in independent investigations by prosecutors is supposed to come into effect within three years of the law's promulgation.

Source: Japan Today, March 16, 2018

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