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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…

Indonesia: Police investigate reports of blasphemy in poem

Police investigate reports of blasphemy in Sukmawati’s poem

The National Police are investigating reports of blasphemy allegedly committed by Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, an official confirmed on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Insp.Gen.Setyo Wasisto said two reports of blasphemy implicating the daughter of founding father Sukarno had been filed with the Jakarta Police and the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim).

“Our responsibility is to carry out an investigation. We have to first gather evidence and then follow up,” Setyo said as quoted by kompas.com.   

He said that during the pre-investigation process, the police would collect evidence and question witnesses.

He further said the police would also consider settling the case out of court.  

Sukmawati has been accused of insulting Islam after reading her poem titled Ibu Indonesia (Mother Indonesia) during Indonesia Fashion Week (IFW) in Jakarta last Thursday.

“I don’t know sharia [Islamic law], but I know the konde [traditional bun] of Mother Indonesia is so beautiful, more beautiful than your niqab. I don’t know sharia, but I know that the ballad of Indonesian mothers is so beautiful, more melodious than your adzan,” the poem reads.

The poem triggered outrage from various groups. Lawyer Denny Andrian Kusdayat, Hanura Party politician Amron Asyhari and the East Java chapter of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), have filed criminal reports against Sukmawati.

The United Islam Forum (FUIB) has also reported Sukmawati to the Jakarta Police and will file a similar report with Bareskrim.

Sukmawati is accused of committing blasphemy under Article 156a of the Criminal Code (KUHP) and hate speech, which violates Article 16 of Law No. 40/2008 on the elimination of sentiments against tribal affiliation, religion, race and societal groups (SARA).

Source: The Jakarta Post, Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, April 4, 2018


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