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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…

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

Mo Huanjing, nanny of the family of Lin Shengbin.
Defendant claims firefighters didn't try hard enough to extinguish blaze

The nanny responsible for killing 4 members of a family in an arson appeared in court in eastern China on Thursday to appeal her death sentence.

Mo Huanjing, nanny of the family of Lin Shengbin, pleaded guilty to starting the fire. But she said during the appeal at Zhejiang High People's Court that "the penalty in the original ruling was extremely heavy".

"The tragedy wasn't the result I wanted to see," she added. She said the efforts of firefighters were flawed. And she confessed to her offense during the initial interrogation, which could be regarded as a reason to earn a more lenient sentence.

Wu Pengbin, her lawyer, told China Daily that some firefighters and employees of the property management department of Lin's apartment attended the hearing as witnesses at his urging.

"I wanted them to show what they were doing at the time to the court, as I, with my client, thought their rescue attempt lacked urgency and there was also something wrong with the water pressure in the apartment," he said.

Mo, 35, expressed deep remorse for her actions and apologized to Lin's family at the end of the hearing. She requested a lenient sentence in court, but added that she would accept the result if the original verdict is upheld.

The court said the judgment would be announced at a later date.

Mo was sentenced to death on Feb 9 at the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court after intentionally setting the fire in Lin's apartment in the city on June 22, 2017, killing Lin's wife Zhu Xiaochen and their three children, ages 6, 9 and 11.

She was also convicted of theft and fined 10,000 yuan ($1,570) at the same time.

The original verdict ruled that the defendant, who was burdened with heavy gambling debts, sought nanny positions in 2015 to pay her debtors. In September 2016, she obtained a live-in nanny job at Lin's home in Hangzhou.

She stole gold jewelry and watches from the family and then pawned them for over 180,000 yuan between March and June last year, it said.

On June 22, she decided to win Zhu's gratitude by lighting a fire and then extinguishing it to get more money, after having lost 60,000 yuan from bad bets. But the fire spread quickly and she escaped from the home. Zhu and her 3 children died of carbon monoxide poisoning, it said.

In a statement posted by the high court on Thursday, Mo said she tried to extinguish the fire at the time, and had prepared buckets of water in advance. She said she knocked on windows of the children's rooms to wake them up and called police and security guards for help. But she added that she failed to extinguish the blaze amid a bout of anxiety, it added.

Source: ecns.cn, May 18, 2018


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