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Ala. man after death row: Prosecutors will ‘answer to God’

Pat Turner, Anthony Ray HintonAnthony Ray Hinton, 58, spent half his life on Alabama’s death row, sentenced to die for two 1985 murders that for decades he insisted he did not commit.

Over 28 years, the outside world changed while Hinton spent his days largely in a 5-by-8-foot prison cell. Children grew up. His mother died. His hair turned gray. Inmates he knew were escorted off to the electric chair or the lethal-injection gurney.

He was set free Friday after new ballistics tests contradicted the only evidence — an analysis of crime-scene bullets — that connected Hinton to the slayings.

“They had every intention of executing me for something I didn’t do,” Hinton said outside the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham.

Friends and family members rushed to embrace Hinton after his lawyers escorted him outside of the jail on Good Friday morning. His sisters wiped tears, saying “Thank you, Lord,” as they wrapped their arms around their brother.

Equal Justice Initiative director Bryan Stevenson, who waged a 16-year fight for Hinton’s release, said while the day was joyous, the case was tragic. Read more…