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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…

Motion requesting unanimous vote for death penalty denied by judge

Jury box
A Houston County Judge denied a motion to request prohibition of the death penalty without a unanimous jury vote.

Defense attorneys David Hogg and Robert Aaron Gartlan filed the motion May 3 for their client, Michael Allen Tharp. 

State’s Attorney Mark Jones filed a motion stating the Code of Alabama 1975 13A-5-46 (f) clearly sets forth that a jury recommendation of death must be based on a vote of at least 10 jurors and the verdict must be in writing specify the vote.

Judge Kevin Moulton denied the motion request for a unanimous vote for the death penalty Monday. 

Tharp’s jury trial is set to begin Aug. 27.

Tharp previously pleaded not guilty by mental disease. A mental evaluation was ordered, and in November 2017 Moulton issued an order finding Tharp competent to stand trial.

Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Michael Allen Tharp on Dec. 14, 2012, two days after the slaying and robbery of his stepfather, 68-year-old Joseph Bernard Hendley.

The shooting happened at a mobile home in the 500 block of North Broad Street in Cowarts near an intersection with Jordan Avenue, not far from Tharp’s home. 

According to Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd, Hendley died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Source: Dothan Eagle, Michele Forehand, May 22, 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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