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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…

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto
(CNN) - An Australian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging after a Malaysian court overturned an earlier acquittal of drug smuggling charges.

According to CNN affiliate Sky News, a three-judge panel unanimously threw out the previous ruling in 54-year-old Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto's case.

The grandmother and mother of four was arrested in December 2014 while transiting through the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on a flight from Shanghai to Melbourne, according to another CNN affiliate, SBS News.

She was found in possession of 1.1 kilos (2.4 lb) of crystal methamphetamine and faced a mandatory death penalty under Malaysia's draconian drugs laws.

Exposto claimed she had no knowledge of the drugs in her bag and had been scammed by a boyfriend she met online.

According to SBS, Exposto's lawyers said she had gone to Shanghai to file documents in relation to her boyfriend's retirement from service in the US army. When she left China, Exposto claimed she was handed a black backpack at the last minute, which she was led to believe only had clothes inside. 

The report did not say who handed her the backpack.

The backpack was flagged as suspicious by Malaysian customs, and a search discovered a secret compartment stitched into it, which had packages of crystal methamphetamine inside.

Late last year, she was found not guilty of drug trafficking by the Malaysian High Court. Prosecutors appealed however, preventing Exposto from leaving Malaysia and returning to her home in Sydney.

The ruling comes despite changes to Malaysian law last year which made the death penalty no longer mandatory for drug mules. 

Exposto still has another chance to appeal the verdict, according to Sky.

Drug trafficking is among nine classes of crime, including murder and treason, which still bear the death penalty in Malaysia.

According to the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, the country carried out four executions in 2017, down from nine the year before.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: CNN, James Griffiths, May 24, 2018


Sydney grandmother sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia


A SYDNEY grandmother has been sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia after an appeal court unanimously overturned her earlier acquittal on drug smuggling charges.

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, 54, from Cabramatta West, was today found guilty by three judges in the Court of Appeal.

The mother of four was caught with 1.5kg of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on December 7, 2014.

“We find the merits of the appeal, we allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the judge and find her guilty as convicted. The only sentence under law is death by hanging,” the judges found.

Court of Appeal judge Mohtarudin Baki, told Ms Exposto: “The only sentence under the law is death by hanging. You have another round of appeal and we wish you luck.”

Ms Exposto’s lawyer Shafee Abdullah today told the court her client would exercise her right for a further appeal.

“You will win and you will walk away,” Ms Abdullah told Ms Exposto.

The court has previously heard Ms Exposto fell victim to an internet romance scam and that she was tricked into believing she was in Shanghai to lodge documents for her online boyfriend’s retirement from service in the US army.

Kuala Lumpur airport, MalaysiaThe man apparently identified himself as “Captain Daniel Smith,” and claimed to be a US soldier stationed in Afghanistan. Ms Exposto testified a friend of Mr “Smith” asked her to take the black backpack to Melbourne from Shanghai as a last minute request at the airport.

She claimed she thought there were only clothes inside.

Kuala Lumpur Airport customs officers discovered the drugs stitched into the lining of a backpack after noticing an existence of something “green” during scans of her luggage.

The search by Customs officials was voluntary at the time and Mrs Exposto opted to give her bags up for a search.

When officials looked closer, they noticed the stitching inside did not match that of the backpack and when they ripped it open, they found grey packages inside, customs official Mohd Noor Nashariq told the Shah Alam High Court last year.

Mrs Exposto was married at the time but her relationship with her husband was getting “a bit sour” when her online boyfriend asked her to marry him in September 2013.

Malaysia is amending laws that no longer bind judges to hand down mandatory death sentences for drug mules. But that law has not yet been gazetted.

The mandatory sentence is death by hanging for anyone found guilty of carrying more than 50 grams of an illegal drug. When the drugs were found in 2014 she reportedly said she had “never seen drugs in her life”.

In 1986, Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were hanged after being found guilty of trafficking heroin.

They were the first Westerners to be executed under the country’s renowned anti-drug laws which were introduced in 1983.

Source: news.com.au, Megan Palin, May 24, 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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