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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…

Texas: Death row inmate scheduled for execution files appeal claiming he was high at time of slaying

 Erick Davila
With weeks to go before his scheduled execution, defense lawyers for Erick Davila are arguing that he should be spared death because he was high at the time of the slaying and didn't intend to kill more than one person.

The Fort Worth man was convicted of killing a rival gang member's mother and a 5-year-old girl at a children's birthday party in 2008. He was sentenced to death in 2009 and is slated for execution on April 25. But his lawyers have long argued that Annette and Queshawn Stevenson were not his intended victims, according to court filings.

Instead, lawyers say in a Tarrant County court filing, he was aiming for rival gang member Jerry Stevenson. When he opened fire on a children's birthday party, he missed his mark - in part due to bad vision, lawyers say - and killed a grandmother and young child instead.

He was sent to death row for killing more than one person - but his attorney, Seth Kretzer, says he only meant to kill the one. And killing just one person is not necessarily a death-eligible crime.

"The jury never learned that at the time of the shooting Davila was heavily intoxicated, likely to the degree that it would have rendered him temporarily insane," Kretzer wrote in a court filing.

In February, lawyers questioning Davila's codefendent learned that the convicted triggerman was on a cocktail of PCP, weed, and ecstasy the day of the crime.

"The fact that Davila was high on such powerful chemicals at the time of the shooting would have been the perfect compliment to Davila's defense that he did not intend to harm any women or children," Kretzer wrote.

But, he argued, due to bad jury instructions, the jury didn't realize that they needed to find Davila intended to kill two people to find him guilty of capital murder in the case presented. Defense lawyers at the time failed to raise the issue.

Now, in a petition filed last week requesting a stay, Kretzer raises claims from bad lawyering to withheld evidence to bad jury instruction and targets Texas's capital sentencing scheme as unconstitutional.

Source: chron.com, Keri Blakinger, April 2, 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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