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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 man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Death-row cell, Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected an appeal Wednesday from a 37-year-old Rio Grande Valley man on death row for stabbing and beheading his common-law wife's 3 children 15 years ago.

John Allen Rubio's appeals lawyer argued unsuccessfully that Rubio's attorneys at his 2010 trial in Cameron County were deficient, that the trial court failed to sufficiently pay for his appellate investigation of the case and that the Texas death penalty sentencing procedure was unconstitutional.

The state's highest criminal court also refused a second supplemental appeal from Rubio as legally improper and declined to consider the merits of the arguments in that appeal.

"I have to say overall I am not surprised by the court's actions." Rubio's attorney, David Schulman, said. "I'm very, very disappointed."

He said he would ask the appeals court for a rehearing, saying he was "shocked" the judges refused the supplemental appeal that included arguments that prosecutors refused to discuss a plea bargain, that mitigating evidence that could have changed the outcome wasn't presented to jurors, and that the trial defense team was hampered by insufficient money from the trial court.

If the request failed, Schulman said other attorneys were prepared to take Rubio's case into the federal courts.

Rubio was convicted twice of the March 11, 2003, slayings of 3-year-old Julissa Quesada, 14-month-old John E. Rubio and 2-month-old Mary Jane Rubio in a squalid Brownsville apartment. The appeals court in 2007 overturned his 1st conviction, ruling that statements from the children's mother, Angela Camacho, were wrongly allowed as evidence during the 1st trial. Camacho pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence for her role in the slayings.

Records show Rubio's brother and his girlfriend stopped by the apartment, spotted the slain infant, ran outside screaming and flagged down a police officer. The officer testified that after he saw decapitated body of a child in a back bedroom, Rubio held his wrists out and said, "arrest me."

At his 2nd trial, Rubio pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, a defense rejected by a jury.

Defense experts testified his childhood - filled with violence at home, "toxic" parents, drug use and prostitution - damaged him developmentally.

Rubio told authorities the children were possessed. Defense experts diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, a determination disputed by prosecution experts.

Source: The Associated Press, 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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