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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…

Iraqi court sentences Frenchwoman to life for IS links

Mélina Boughedir in court with her daughter
Frenchwoman Mélina Boughedir has been sentenced to life in prison by a Baghdad court for membership of the Islamic State (IS) armed group. 

Her lawyers have accused a French minister of interfering in her trial.

"I am innocent," The 27-year-old mother of four told the judge in French.

"My husband duped me and then threatened to leave with the children" unless she followed him to Iraq, where he planned on joining IS, she said.

Three of her children have been sent back to France.

Boughedir was captured in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the capital of IS's self-declared "caliphate", when it fell to government forces in 2017.

She was sentenced last February to seven months in prison for illegal entry into the country and was set to be deported back to France, but another court ordered her retrial under Iraq's anti-terrorist law on charges that could have meant a death sentence.

Minister accused


On Saturday her French lawyers, who travelled to Baghdad for the trial, accused French Interior Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of "unacceptable interference" in her case after he told the LCI TV station that she was a "terrorist".

"When you got to Mosul in 2016 it's to fight and she is being judged at the scene of these crimes," he said. "That's normal logic."

But he confirmed France's opposition to the death penalty.

"Nobody can doubt that in these circumstances if a stiff sentence is passed tomorrow it would be immediately related to the unacceptable interference that you have been responsible for," William Bourdon, Martin Pradel and Vincent Brengarth said in a letter.

Boughedir's Iraqi lawyer had not been able to consult the documentation on her case or visit her in prison, they said.

They accused Le Drian of wanting to prevent her being sent back to France, despite the fact that she is wanted for alleged terrorist plotting here.

Fast-track trials


Faced with dozens of foreign women who went to IS-held territory, the Baghdad court has sentenced many of them after hearings that have been as short as 10 minutes.

Another Frenchwoman, 29-year-old Djamila Boutoutaou, was also given a life sentence in April, despite her claim that she had been tricked by her husband.



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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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