Birmingham, AL — Anthony Ray Hinton, a 58-year-old Alabama man who spent half his life on death row, walked free this past Friday after prosecutors determined he did not shoot two fast-food managers in the head during a robbery in 1985.
But the charges were dropped after modern ballistics tests proved that the bullets did not come from the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver found in Hinton’s home or even from the same type of gun.
Hinton told reporters, “I shouldn’t have sat on death row for 30 years. All they had to do was test the gun.” He said the state “had every intention of executing me for something I didn’t do.”
He refers to his case as a “miscarriage of justice, not only to me, but the victims’ family.” He told the family, “I will continue to pray for you as I have for 30 years.”
Meanwhile, Hinton’s long-time attorney, Bryan Stevenson, says that Hinton was convicted because he was poor. He added that for more than 16 years, the state refused his appeals to re-test the gun.
“His case, in my judgment, is a case study in what’s wrong with our system,” Stevenson said. “We have a system that’s compromised by racial bias, and his case proved it.”
Watch the emotional press conference below: