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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…

U.N. warns Japan against hanging Aum cult figures currently seeking retrial

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
The U.N. Human Rights Office has called into question Japan's possible execution of Aum Shinrikyo cult figures on death row who are seeking a retrial.

"We do note that some of the defendants in this case are reportedly requesting a retrial," Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the office, said in a written interview with Kyodo News.

"Execution of individuals with appeals or other proceedings still pending is against the U.N. Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty," she said.

Death sentences have been finalized for 13 members of the cult, including Aum founder Shoko Asahara, 63, who masterminded the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 13 people and left over 6,000 people ill.

Earlier this month, the Justice Ministry transferred 7 of the 13 on death row from the Tokyo detention center to other facilities across the country, likely bringing them a step closer to execution.

Japan has long tended to avoid executing death-row inmates while their retrial pleas were pending, but last year then-Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda said such a plea does not impede an execution.

All 13 inmates sentenced to death for crimes committed while members of the doomsday cult, including Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, had been housed in the Tokyo detention facility. Asahara remains in the facility, government sources said earlier.

The U.N. safeguards, adopted in 1984, partly stipulate that capital punishment "shall not be carried out pending any appeal or other recourse procedure or other proceeding relating to pardon or commutation of the sentence."

"The U.N. Human Rights Office advocates for full abolition of the death penalty, and we have in our discussions with the Japanese government urged them to consider abolition," the spokeswoman said.

Source: Japan Times, March 28, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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