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The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

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A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.


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A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

30 review for The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    I am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, angry, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. Not that he never got angry, he did, but he still hung on, didn't give up. He had a best friend, Lester a childhood friend who never missed visits, a mother to whom he was her baby boy, always asking him when he would be coming home, and he had his faith in God. His first lawyer in I am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, angry, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. Not that he never got angry, he did, but he still hung on, didn't give up. He had a best friend, Lester a childhood friend who never missed visits, a mother to whom he was her baby boy, always asking him when he would be coming home, and he had his faith in God. His first lawyer incompetent, fighting against a system prejudice that despite evidence to the contrary, would do anything for a conviction. He would also, eventually have Bryan Stevenson, the author of Just Mercy and his lawyers in the Equal justice initiative. In fact, Stevenson writes the forward in this book. That the criminal justice system in this country is evident just from what we see on our televisions. It seems always weekly men who have been in prison, serving long sentences are found innocent and released. This book makes this point perfectly clear. Even when the evidence was found to be faulty in his first trial, Hintons case was passed from Court to court. The amount of years this happened was beyond ridiculous, to me it was unconsciousable. During his time on death row, he started a book club, daydreamed his way out, to travel, pretend, allowing him the opportunity to escape mentally if he couldn't physically. Many books have left me teary eyed, but reading this book affected me so much I had tears running down my face more than once. All the things this man missed, the sorrows he endured, on being released the realization that the world had moved on in technology, and in other ways. Yet, he never lost his humanity, held on to his faith, but what he lost is beyond measure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    5 inspirational and unforgettable stars to The Sun Does Shine! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder and spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama. His cell was close enough to the execution block that all his senses knew when someone’s time had come. Hinton’s public defender was incompetent and so was the star witness in ballistics who happened to be blind in one eye and asked for help in doing his job. Add to that a district attorney with an axe to grind, an all white jury and judg 5 inspirational and unforgettable stars to The Sun Does Shine! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder and spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama. His cell was close enough to the execution block that all his senses knew when someone’s time had come. Hinton’s public defender was incompetent and so was the star witness in ballistics who happened to be blind in one eye and asked for help in doing his job. Add to that a district attorney with an axe to grind, an all white jury and judge, and racial tensions in Alabama, and Hinton was convicted of a crime he did not commit. While each day and year ticked by, Hinton never lost hope, and he was able to convince well-known attorney, Bryan Stevenson, to represent him. After jumping through all the hoops of our justice system, and several years later in doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the false conviction. At the very heart of this book is Hinton’s merciful, steadfast spirit. In prison, he was known for his kindness and ability to make others laugh. Outside of prison, he spends his time advocating so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. If you need to feel uplifted, Hinton indomitably delivers. Thank you to Anthony Ray Hinton, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for the ARC for this inspiring book. The Sun Does Shine is available now!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Until we have a way of ensuring that innocent men are never executed. Until we account for the racism in our courts, in our prisons, and in our sentencing. The death penalty should be abolished. Anthony Ray Hinton is an amazing and Godly man. He's a much better person than I am. Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. This innocent man could have been put to death, for the crime of being black & poor. His trial was a sham, his court appointed lawyer c Until we have a way of ensuring that innocent men are never executed. Until we account for the racism in our courts, in our prisons, and in our sentencing. The death penalty should be abolished. Anthony Ray Hinton is an amazing and Godly man. He's a much better person than I am. Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. This innocent man could have been put to death, for the crime of being black & poor. His trial was a sham, his court appointed lawyer couldn't have cared less, the police told him to his face they didn't care if he was innocent because "If you didn't do it some other nigger did", the prosecutor Robert McGregor, I will only say that I hope he enjoys heat because he's burning in Hell. As I said before Anthony Ray Hinton is a better person than me, because he's forgiven all the people who wronged him. Well guess what I haven't, one of my great talents is the ability to hold grudges. Anthony Ray Hinton is a special sort of person, he never gave up hope or lost his enthusiasm for life. He started a death row bookclub, he prayed for the souls of his fellow death row inmates(even the guilty ones), he befriended a Klansman on death row for the brutal murder of a black man and he married both Halle Berry & Sandra Bullock(in his head of course). I don't believe in the death penalty. I know that there are people who have committed truly heinous crimes and should probably die for that but what about the Anthony Ray Hinton's of the world. 1 out of every 10 people on death row are innocent. Anthony Ray Hinton was lucky, he wasn't wrongfully executed but every year at least 5 innocent people are. I just can't stomach that. A must read! Oprah's Bookclub 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book about a problem facing society today. Hooked On Books July Read-A-Thon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Oh My God....UNBELIEVABLE!!! Within seconds of beginning this story, we are SICK....sick with rage, over the most inhumane - infuriating injustice. “ANTHONY RAY HILTON.....the youngest of 10 children of a single mom, SPENT 30 years on Alabama’s death row for two murders he didn’t commit”....”HE WAS INNOCENT”... ANTHONY didn’t kill ANYONE!! ....he was never in a fight. He wasn’t violent. He prayed to God to forgive those who DID HIM WRONG. He didn’t know anything about the murders when he was arres Oh My God....UNBELIEVABLE!!! Within seconds of beginning this story, we are SICK....sick with rage, over the most inhumane - infuriating injustice. “ANTHONY RAY HILTON.....the youngest of 10 children of a single mom, SPENT 30 years on Alabama’s death row for two murders he didn’t commit”....”HE WAS INNOCENT”... ANTHONY didn’t kill ANYONE!! ....he was never in a fight. He wasn’t violent. He prayed to God to forgive those who DID HIM WRONG. He didn’t know anything about the murders when he was arrested. “When the whole world thinks you’re guilty, it’s hard to hang onto the truth”. Nobody knows this better than Anthony. Anthony Ray Hilton knew the truth: He was innocent! .... He was innocent! .... He was innocent!!!! .... INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!! Anthony’s love for his mother and his faith in God....is what gave him strength to stay calm and keep his emotions in check in order to fight for justice. A Heart-POUNDING story! .....Corruption- racism- convicted with a lack of evidence- so HORRIFIC.....the injustice ripped my guts from the inside out. THIRTY YEARS of legal fighting for freedom. Anthony wasn’t born to die on death row. It was soooooooo CRAZY that Anthony was locked up...that some days he and his attorney, Anthony Bryan Stevenson laughed and laughed silly. I understand this type of uncontrollable- emotional laughter... a thin layer over pain. Anthony said he would rather die than not PROVE his innocence! I understood this too. The story of how Anthony proves his innocence is fricken GRIPPING.... I KNEW THE ENDING.... before I started this book ... but I needed to read his journey myself more than I knew. Anthony is SPEAKING in my area next month. I hope to go see him speak with my local book buddy, Margie .... “THE SUN DOES SHINE”!!!! I can’t think of any other story - more important then this one to understand the urgency to reform our justice system. Hallelujah, Anthony!!!! .....keep enjoying the sunshine..... ....playing basketball with George Clooney..great meals...family...friends.... swimming...laughing...and KEEP TELLING YOUR STORY.... We are listening!! Many people have read this book before me. I hope many MORE people read it after me!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    If you haven’t read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson , it’s a must read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system in the US and especially the death penalty. Strike that — it’s a must read for everyone. The Sun Does Shine has a foreword by Bryan Stephenson, but it is written by Anthony Ray Hinton, an inmate who was on death row in Alabama for 30 years. Hinton was sentenced to death for murders he did not commit. He is black and was too poor to afford a If you haven’t read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson , it’s a must read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system in the US and especially the death penalty. Strike that — it’s a must read for everyone. The Sun Does Shine has a foreword by Bryan Stephenson, but it is written by Anthony Ray Hinton, an inmate who was on death row in Alabama for 30 years. Hinton was sentenced to death for murders he did not commit. He is black and was too poor to afford a lawyer who could properly represent him. And it took thirty years before he was able to convince the US Supreme Court that his first trial was unfair and hadn’t allowed him to present clearly exculpatory evidence. What makes the book worth reading is Hinton himself. He is a force of nature. In his foreword, Stephenson mentions that even the guards were supportive of Hinton’s plea for a new trial. And it’s easy to see why. Despite being on death row, Hinton found a way to make the best of a terrible situation. He took the high road in difficult circumstances and looked for the humanity in everyone, including his fellow inmates. As just one example, he started a book club that led inmates who could barely read to talk about race and justice and other topics. He even became friends with the son of a well known white nationalist who was on death row for killing a black man. Hinton is very self reflective, and his book doesn’t just share his story, but many of his thoughts about faith, his love for his mother and close friends who stuck by him, how to stay strong in difficult situations, the failures of the criminal justice system and the inhumanity of the death penalty. There is also a fair amount of humour in Hinton’s book. Hinton clearly does this on purpose, at one point explaining that starting with humour is often a good way to put people at ease and get them to listen. Hinton is now 60 years old. He had a lot to say. His book is well worth reading. I don’t share the depth of his religious faith, but it clearly has kept him going and fuelled his admirable ability to look forward. I listened to the audio version, which was really well done. Hinton doesn’t read it, but it’s read in a voice that is full of life and expression.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    “He was a poor man in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.” ― Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row I am so glad I read this book and I really think I could not have picked this one up at a better time. An eye opening, thought provoking and heart-breaking but important read. Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir of his wrongful imprisonment of 30 years for the murders of three men that he “He was a poor man in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.” ― Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row I am so glad I read this book and I really think I could not have picked this one up at a better time. An eye opening, thought provoking and heart-breaking but important read. Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir of his wrongful imprisonment of 30 years for the murders of three men that he did not commit is an absolute eye-opening account of one man and his lawyer's fight for justice and the wrongs committed by the justice system of Alabama. Some wrongs can never be put right and this is one of them, I couldn’t help thinking of the 30 years that Anthony Ray Hinton missed out on in life and what his family, friends and community missed out on by not having him in their lives, that sort of "missing out on " cannot be given back to Mr Hinton. I had a constant lump in my throat reading this as nothing even remotely pointed towards this man being guilty and yet he ended up on death row. It just is mind blowing, frustrating how this injustice could and did happen. My heart went out to his mother and what a beautiful strong mother/son bond they shared. I also felt for the families of the men who were murdered as they spent 30 years probably hating this innocent man while the real murderer roamed free. So many wrongs that cannot be put right. Reading the book, I felt I got to know this man and his gentle, warm, humbling, strong personality and yet nothing prepared me for the video clips I watched afterwards. His ability to forgive is what I will take from this book even though I was fit to scream by the time I finished the read at the injustices of the system. I envied Ray of his strong faith and of course having a best friend like Lesther. “Justice only happens when good people take a stand against injustice.” ― Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row I love to find hero's in stories and Bryan Stevenson is without doubt the hero of the moment in this one and thankfully a man that has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. A thought provoking read, and I think this would be a terrific book club discussion book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    This is an account of an innocent man who spent 30 years on a death row in Alabama. Tragedy which could have devastated most of people ... However, Mr Hinton remained sane thanks to his faith, his mother and his best friend, and because he knew he was not guilty. What happened to him is beyond words and his voice is valuable regarding the capital punishment. You can only admire Mr Hinton who, against the odds, found strength to survive.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    The Sun Does Shine is one of the hardest books I've ever read. Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of murder in 1985 and was imprisoned for almost 30 years in solitary confinement, waiting to be put to death for a crime he didn't commit. The horrific injustice that was perpetrated by the state of Alabama on Mr. Hinton is beyond belief. Yet through all this, Mr. Hinton remained hopeful and kind, and his unwavering humanity is an inspiration to us all. Reading this book, almost every page made The Sun Does Shine is one of the hardest books I've ever read. Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of murder in 1985 and was imprisoned for almost 30 years in solitary confinement, waiting to be put to death for a crime he didn't commit. The horrific injustice that was perpetrated by the state of Alabama on Mr. Hinton is beyond belief. Yet through all this, Mr. Hinton remained hopeful and kind, and his unwavering humanity is an inspiration to us all. Reading this book, almost every page made me sick to my stomach. Everyone working for the state in this case--including the prosecutor, the judge, the ballistics experts, witnesses, and even Mr. Hinton's court appointed lawyer--willfully lied and maliciously conspired to put a man in prison for a crime they know he didn't commit. One person even went so far as to tell him that they didn't care if he was guilty, and that as a black person he should take one for the team. Thirty years is a lifetime, and it was taken from Mr. Hinton in the blink of an eye. Yet, his words of faith and hope, and his positive attitude and kindness to fellow inmates and guards were moving to read. He took what was one of the worst situations anyone could find themselves in, and made a life for himself in a room that's 5 ft by 7 ft. One of the things that struck me was how Mr. Hinton tried to remove the hate from his heart towards everyone who essentially conspired to kill him. He looked upon them with forgiveness and kindness, and I just don't know how he could do it. I feel hatred in my heart towards all those people after reading this book, and it didn't even happen to me. But I'm glad he did, and that it brought him some measure of peace. Mr. Hinton's courage and kindness fills me with awe. He is a hero and so is his team of dedicated lawyers led by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative who worked for two decades to exonerate and set Mr. Hinton free, along with other innocent or unfairly convicted inmates. This book is tough to read, but it feels essential to understanding all that is wrong with our criminal justice system, including its excessive, racially-motivated punishment of poor black people. In the end, Mr. Hinton's unwavering fight to see the good in everyone and to keep hope alive in his heart reminds me of the humanity in all of us. With grace, kindness, and love, he passed through hell and survived to tell his tale. Now he is working to bring visibility to all the injustices he suffered and witnessed, and the world needs people like him. He is truly inspiring.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, back in 2016 and that book has STUCK WITH ME. So there was no question that I would read this book, about one of the many innocent people Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative has fought hard to free after they have been wrongly convicted as guilty and sentenced to death. Thanks to Stevenson my viewpoint was forever changed about the death penalty, and this book further cemented it. This book is about a terrible i I read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, back in 2016 and that book has STUCK WITH ME. So there was no question that I would read this book, about one of the many innocent people Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative has fought hard to free after they have been wrongly convicted as guilty and sentenced to death. Thanks to Stevenson my viewpoint was forever changed about the death penalty, and this book further cemented it. This book is about a terrible injustice, finding a way to have hope even in a situation full of despair, and the seemingly rare occurrence of real justice prevailing after our judicial system makes a terrible mistake. Until our justice system becomes fool-proof, which it never will be unless someone invents a real truth serum, every person should have qualms about supporting the death penalty. Is "an eye for an eye" a justifiable punishment if sometimes you incorrectly blind an innocent man in the process?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Last year I read Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. It was crushing to read about a justice system based on convictions and political gain at the expense of innocent men. It led me to read I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi about the death of Earl Garner and also to Michelle Ko's Reading with Patrick. Each book is a moving account of the stories behind the Black Lives Matter movement. So when I saw that one of the Death Row inmates represented by Stevenson had written his own book I had to read it. R Last year I read Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. It was crushing to read about a justice system based on convictions and political gain at the expense of innocent men. It led me to read I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi about the death of Earl Garner and also to Michelle Ko's Reading with Patrick. Each book is a moving account of the stories behind the Black Lives Matter movement. So when I saw that one of the Death Row inmates represented by Stevenson had written his own book I had to read it. Ray Hinton had a record and had paid his dues. He was working in a guarded facility when a murder took place, but an enemy in romance told police that he had seen Ray at the crime scene. Ray was poor. Ray was black. Ray had a record. With lousy representation, a partially blind expert witness in munitions, and the system stacked against him, he was convicted and sent to prison for murders he did not commit. The Sun Does Shine tells of his struggle for justice, his decline into anger and hatred, and how he found hope and acceptance. He became a model prisoner, befriending the other inmates and working to improve their lives. He asked for their food to be covered to keep out dust and insects. He asked for books to keep the inmates from dwelling on their problems. He started a book club. He kept up morale. Ray changed lives. A former KKK member who killed a black teenager called Ray his best friend. It was the continuing love of his mother and support of his best friend that kept Ray going for thirty years. Even after his mother passed, he heard her inspiring voice to keep fighting. Ray knew he had what many others on Death Row had lacked: a loving family and abiding faith. Bryan Stevenson was overworked but took on Ray's case. They had to fight the Alabama court system that would not accept the evidence that would prove Ray's innocence. When Ray was finally released he had lived on Death Row longer than he had been free. It was a shock; the world had changed. The first night of freedom he slept in the bathroom because the bedroom was too large and strange. He was given no compensation. He had no Social Security or pension or savings built up. He would have to work to support himself the rest of his life. I was devastated and I was inspired by Ray's story. Meet Mr. Hinton in a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6bvA... I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brandice

    In The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton provides a first person account of his 30 years on Death Row - An innocent man served 30 - no, that’s not a typo - years in prison for a crime he did not commit - That’s my entire life. Hinton talks about his life growing up in Alabama, but most of the book focuses on his time spent on Death Row because sadly, that’s where he was forced to spend the majority of his life. He is 62 today. There are some real disgus In The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton provides a first person account of his 30 years on Death Row - An innocent man served 30 - no, that’s not a typo - years in prison for a crime he did not commit - That’s my entire life. Hinton talks about his life growing up in Alabama, but most of the book focuses on his time spent on Death Row because sadly, that’s where he was forced to spend the majority of his life. He is 62 today. There are some real disgusting people in this story - Hinton’s first lawyer, Perhacs, and McGregor, the prosecutor in the case, at the top of the list. It was infuriating to read especially because there were no consequences noted for their ignorant and negligent behavior in botching the case. This is not a fiction book with characters created to be intentionally dislikable - These are men who had it out for Hinton for no reason, and as a result, cost him a huge portion of his life. Lazy, racist and immoral are just a few top of mind words to describe them. Despite the infuriating elements, which remain throughout most of the book, I enjoyed reading Hinton’s story - His optimism, hope, and ability to escape Death Row’s terrible conditions on a daily basis, through his vivid imagination, were incredible. I honestly don’t know if I’d have it in me to persist and keep fighting after so long! I also admired Hinton’s ability to forgive people, both those involved in his case, and other inmates in prison with him, who committed violent crimes - Everyone on death row isn’t innocent. Hinton’s consistent optimism is admirable, and a good reminder that the things we frequently consider problematic on a daily basis often aren’t, and are things we too often take for granted, when our situation could actually be much worse. ”There was no New Year celebration on death row and 2014 came in like a quiet thief in the night. What could we celebrate, really - another year of being alive or another year of being closer to death? How did free men celebrate a new year? I didn’t know, and I couldn’t remember.” I read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite books today because it changed my perspective and challenged many of my thoughts on what I considered to be a pretty firm opinion regarding the death penalty. In The Sun Does Shine, Hinton shares that he strongly opposes the death penalty and provides many reasons to support his position against it. Henry Hays, the son of a KKK leader was on Death Row with Hinton and ultimately executed for the lynching of a 19 year old African-American, Michael Donald, in Alabama in 1981. I already disliked Hays because of this while reading the book, and reading about the incident elsewhere after finishing the book didn’t change my opinion of him. It’s hard for me to believe Hays didn’t deserve the death penalty or feel any sympathy toward him after he committed such an immoral, heinous crime. “Justice demanded life for a life. Retribution. The perpetrator should not live while the victim has no choice.” Hinton states this, summarizing a pro- death penalty argument he read while in prison, and I’d be lying if I said this did not resonate with me, at least partially. That said, I agree the justice system is seriously flawed and in dire need of immediate improvement - The below statistic Bryan Stevenson cites in an article that is also included in this book is alarming: ”With 34 executions and seven exonerations since 1975, one innocent person has been identified in Alabama’s Death Row for every five executions. It’s an astonishing rate of error”. Change is needed, and needed now. Hinton missed out on so much - time with his mom, his 30s, 40s and much of his 50s, the world - drastically changed by advanced technology over the last 30 years, and the opportunity to have children, among other things. It’s truly a tragedy. Today, Hinton travels, speaking out against the death penalty and for justice and prison reform. I hope he has the opportunity to enjoy everything he still wants to experience. The Sun Does Shine is a heavy read, but one well worth reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joey R.

    I began reading “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Hinton after my mom told me it was one of the best books she has ever read. After completing the book in less than 3 days, I have to agree it is one of the most inspiring and well written accounts of one man’s journey through adversity that I have ever read. Hinton does an outstanding job telling his life story and the ups and downs he went through as a result of poverty and the bad decisions he made early in his life. The turning point of his life I began reading “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Hinton after my mom told me it was one of the best books she has ever read. After completing the book in less than 3 days, I have to agree it is one of the most inspiring and well written accounts of one man’s journey through adversity that I have ever read. Hinton does an outstanding job telling his life story and the ups and downs he went through as a result of poverty and the bad decisions he made early in his life. The turning point of his life came when he was falsely accused of a string of murders in Jefferson County,Alabama despite having an airtight alibi for the murder in which he was convicted. The majority of the book is A detailed account of Hinton’s life after his conviction and how he survived serving his prison sentence on Death Row. What makes the book so enjoyable is Mr. Hinton’s personality and attitude that shines through the book even through the worst of times. His ability to forgive and roll with the punches no matter what came his way is in a word amazing. Do yourself a favor and read this book as soon as possible; it will make you feel better about humanity knowing that someone who was as wronged as Mr. Hinton was able to overcome 30 years of pure hell and still remain the kindhearted, wonderful soul that wrote this book

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    "It was nothing less than a lynching - a legal lynching - but a lynching all the same. The anger I had tried so hard to stuff down and pray away was back in full force. My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama. Everywhere I looked in his court room, I saw white faces - a sea of white faces. Wood walls, wood furniture, and white faces. The court room was impressive and intimidating. I felt like an uninvited guest in a rich man's library. It's hard to explain exactly w "It was nothing less than a lynching - a legal lynching - but a lynching all the same. The anger I had tried so hard to stuff down and pray away was back in full force. My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama. Everywhere I looked in his court room, I saw white faces - a sea of white faces. Wood walls, wood furniture, and white faces. The court room was impressive and intimidating. I felt like an uninvited guest in a rich man's library. It's hard to explain exactly what it feels like to be judged. There is a shame to it. Even when you know you're innocent. It still feels like you are coated in something dirty and evil. It made me feel guilty. It made me feel like my very soul was put on trial and found lacking. When it seems like the whole world thinks you're bad, it's hard to hang on to your goodness. I was trying, though. Lord knows I was trying." Imagine being an innocent man incarcerated on death row for thirty years. How do you stomach the hate and racism fired at you from the beginning of your arrest and trial when the only thing they have to say you're guilty is your skin colour and socioeconomic background? Imagine your polygraph being ignored, the ballistics "expert" your state-appointed lawyer can afford being legally blind in one eye... There are so many wrongs in this memoir of Anthony Ray Hinton's. So many injustices carried out against him. But the most wrong of all to me is the death penalty itself. I have never supported it, I do not support it and I will never support it. Everyone deserves the chance for redemption and to live out their days. Taking a life for a life is never okay. This book is utterly moving. I read it through falling tears and stirred up feelings of anger and frustration... Highly recommended. "It's hard not to wrap your life in a story - a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A story that has logic and purpose and a bigger reason for why things turned out the way they did. I look for purpose in losing thirty years of my life. I try to make meaning out of something so wrong and so senseless. We all do. We have to find ways to recover after bad things happen. We have to make every ending be a happy ending. Every single one of us wants to matter. We want our lives and our stories and the choices we made or didn't make to matter. Death row taught me that it all matters. How we live matters. Do we choose love or do we choose hate? Do we help or do we harm? Because there's no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror. And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    As I write this review, I am wiping tears from my face -- tears that flowed more than once as I was reading this amazing book. It is hard to describe the gamut of emotions I felt as I followed Anthony Ray Hinton’s incredible story of having to spend 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Disgusted, appalled, angry, outraged – none of these words seem to be sufficient in relaying my feelings towards the blatant miscarriage of justice that was described in this book as well as towards As I write this review, I am wiping tears from my face -- tears that flowed more than once as I was reading this amazing book. It is hard to describe the gamut of emotions I felt as I followed Anthony Ray Hinton’s incredible story of having to spend 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Disgusted, appalled, angry, outraged – none of these words seem to be sufficient in relaying my feelings towards the blatant miscarriage of justice that was described in this book as well as towards a broken criminal justice system that goes out of its way to protect corrupt, prejudiced officials who have no qualms about convicting and putting innocent people to death not based on hard evidence, but rather based on the color of their skin. Facing a system that treats “the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent,” Hinton fought for decades to prove his innocence, encountering one setback after another, until finally, with the help of his attorney Bryan Stevenson, they were able to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the original conviction and grant him a new trial, after which the local district attorney in Alabama decided to drop the charges. Throughout his harrowing ordeal, Hinton was sustained by his faith in God, which helped him maintain hope, but most importantly, he was blessed with the unconditional love of his mother -- a remarkable woman who was the center of his universe and also his most steadfast cheerleader – as well as the unwavering support of his best friend Lester Bailey, who, for 30 years, never missed a single visit, driving 7 hours every Friday down to the prison to sit with Hinton and make sure he had everything he needed and also helping to take care of his beloved mother. Channeling the love he received from his family and friends, his own unique sense of humor, and also everything his mother taught him about life, Hinton was able to develop true friendships with his fellow inmates and even with some of the guards at the prison. Hinton’s ability to forgive those who wronged him and, despite the circumstances, try to better the lives of his fellow inmates through humor and genuine compassion were nothing short of extraordinary. Most people in his situation would not have found the will to survive, but Hinton was different – his strong resolve and unbreakable spirit were essential in helping him survive the misery of his situation. Also, it must be said that I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for Hinton’s attorney Bryan Stevenson – an extraordinary man who has dedicated his entire life to fighting for justice and equality for those who are poor, underprivileged, marginalized. In Hinton’s case, Stevenson fought the courts tirelessly for 16 years, never giving up even when one court after another refused to admit the evidence that would exonerate Hinton, never backing down even in the face of blatant bias from the judges and prosecutors. Even now, as Stevenson continues to battle with the State of Alabama to get compensation for Hinton, it continues to be a struggle, this time with semantics, as the same inherently prejudiced bureaucratic system maintains that Hinton should not get compensated because the charges being “dropped” is not the same as an official declaration of innocence. This is one of the most powerful memoirs I’ve read in a long time. Hinton’s story is unforgettable, inspirational, and is one that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. Since his release, Hinton has become a motivational speaker and works with Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative traveling around the world, going wherever he is invited to share his story, bringing awareness and also pushing for changes in this country’s justice system in the hopes that this doesn’t happen again to anyone. One of the saddest moments in the book was when Hinton’s mother passed away from cancer in 2002 – this was a woman who had been his rock throughout his ordeal, the love of his life, someone who meant more to him than life itself, the one person who, from the moment her son was arrested, never wavered in her belief that her most beloved baby boy would return home. A bittersweet reunion in the end, as Hinton walked out of the jailhouse finally a free man, grateful that Lester and his family were there to greet him, but also knowing that the mother he adored did not live to see that moment. Despite what Hinton went through and knowing the deeply ingrained societal struggles with racial bias in that state, Hinton still chooses to live in Alabama, in the same house that his mother worked hard her entire life in order to buy so that he would have a home to go back to. Hinton’s special bond with his remarkable mother was one part of his story that moved me deeply. Remarkable, inspiring, eye-opening, and ultimately uplifting, this is a memoir that EVERYONE needs to read, and urgently, given what is happening in our country currently. Bryan Stevenson puts it best in the Forward to this book where he writes: “Reading [Hinton’s] story is difficult but necessary. We need to learn things about our criminal justice system, about the legacy of racial bias in America and the way it can blind us to just and fair treatment of people. We need to understand the dangers posed by the politics of fear and anger that create systems like our capital punishment system and the political dynamics that have made some courts and officials act so irresponsibly. We also need to learn about human dignity, about human worth and value. We need to think about the fact that we are all more than the worst thing we have done.” Received ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    An incredible story! My heart hurt for Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man with extraordinary patience who sat on death row in a 5x7 ft cell for 30 years. This man missed half his life due to an unconscionable travesty of justice in Alabama’s court system before finally being exonerated and set free in 2015 at 58 years old after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget Ray’s story. Surely, the Alabama Senate will find it in their hearts to compensate this An incredible story! My heart hurt for Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man with extraordinary patience who sat on death row in a 5x7 ft cell for 30 years. This man missed half his life due to an unconscionable travesty of justice in Alabama’s court system before finally being exonerated and set free in 2015 at 58 years old after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget Ray’s story. Surely, the Alabama Senate will find it in their hearts to compensate this man as a small token to right this egregious wrong? The fix was in from the start for Ray, a hard-working young black man living in racially charged Alabama. It infuriates me that people today use the ‘racist’ card when a behavior doesn’t suit them and have no idea what true racism is. Anthony Ray Hinton can educate them on that. “You know, I don’t care whether you did or didn’t do it. In fact, I believe you didn’t do it. But it doesn’t matter. If you didn’t do it, one of your brothers did. And you’re going to take the rap,” said District Attorney of Birmingham, David Barber as he interrogated Ray. The cards were stacked against Ray - a white witness carrying a grudge, a white district attorney, a white judge, a white jury. Nobody cared about the truth. Mix in an incompetent public defender and a ballistics expert blind in one eye who had trouble working the microscope and asked for help doing his job who would be crucified on the stand by the prosecutor. 30 years in a cell nearby the room where 53 death row inmates were executed, I cannot imagine the psychological effects of being exposed long term to this barbaric practice, hearing anguished pleas, smelling burning flesh and urine…simply beyond comprehension. I was overwhelmed just thinking about it and the strength it must have taken to survive 30 years of this! I recently saw an interview of Ray, who seems to have no hate in his heart or carry a grudge. I am so inspired by his amazing spirit yet grieve for his loss of everything he’s missed out on over the years since back when Reagan was president including the love of his life, his mother, dying while he was still in prison. Attorney Bryan Stevenson is a shining star, a man who for years has steadfastly dedicated his life to the less fortunate and incarcerated and who fought for decades with his staff to get Ray his freedom. Thanks to St. Martin’s press for allowing me to read this extraordinary ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine that because you are poor, you cannot afford to hire a decent attorney but must instead rely on a public defender who is over-worked and doesn't really care whether or not you are convicted? Imagine not having the money needed to hire the experts who would prove your innocence. Imagine being sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine that because you are poor, you cannot afford to hire a decent attorney but must instead rely on a public defender who is over-worked and doesn't really care whether or not you are convicted? Imagine not having the money needed to hire the experts who would prove your innocence. Imagine being sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who was wrongly accused and convicted of killing two people and was then placed on death row. There he spent 30 years, awaiting his own murder by a state that did not care that he was innocent. A state that basically sentenced him to death because he was poor and he was black. Mr. Hinton tells his story eloquently and emotionally. He tells us what it was like being on death row, he shares the anger he initially felt and then the hope and peace he came to find through his faith. He is a remarkable man! I do not know that many of us could be as forgiving as he is. I certainly do not think I could be. How he was able to let go of his anger and instead tried to make the best of his situation is inspiring. He reminded me at times of the Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl who said that everything can be taken from a man but his right to choose his own attitude (I agree with this to a point, but we don't have control over the chemicals in our brain that sink us into depression). Mr. Hinton was able to let go of his anger and despair when "I realized that the State of Alabama could steal my future and my freedom, but they couldn't steal my soul or my humanity." I admire his fortitude even as he spent his days in a 5 X 7 cell, sharing that tiny space with roaches and rats, awaiting his death and witnessing the death of many others, men and women who could also have been innocent. If you support the death penalty, I urge you to read this book. Mr. Hinton makes the case that it is never OK to take the life of another, no matter what, especially not when there is a chance that someone is innocent of the crime that says he should die. Statistically, at least 1 in 10 people on death row are innocent. Many of the people on death row are mentally ill. How is it right to murder them? How is it humane? How can we be a good and moral society when we kill people, no matter who they are or what we think they may have done? We cannot be. I have been against the death penalty for a long time and reading this book just reenforces my belief that it is an evil and barbaric punishment. In this book, Mr. Hinton shows us the humanity of some of these people awaiting their deaths. He shares stories, he shares their hopes and dreams and feelings. He makes us see that they too are people and thus deserving of compassion, even those who did commit the crimes they were convicted of. It is society that makes a criminal and thus that same society has the responsibility to try to rehabilitate the individual if possible, not simply punish them. Not kill them. This book is beautiful and heartfelt and inspiring and one I think just about everyone can enjoy and learn from. I highly recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    This book was truly excellent. It is the story of how Anthony Hinton survived 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. It is an excellent companion piece to Bryan Stevenson' s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. In fact, Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative is the organization that was ultimately responsible for Hinton's release. Sigh. Yes this is a story about how a man was somehow able to keep his sense of self and his hope while being unjustly incarcerated for 30 years. In This book was truly excellent. It is the story of how Anthony Hinton survived 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. It is an excellent companion piece to Bryan Stevenson' s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. In fact, Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative is the organization that was ultimately responsible for Hinton's release. Sigh. Yes this is a story about how a man was somehow able to keep his sense of self and his hope while being unjustly incarcerated for 30 years. In a way it is uplifting. There is a sense of innate goodness and strength of character in Hinton. According to Hinton, his imagination combined with his support system of Lester (his best friend), his mother, his faith and later Bryan Stevenson were the keys to his survival. Hinton while imprisoned choose to live his life outside of prison, imagining himself travelling abroad and married to Halle Berry. Amusing, yes. But what was done to this man was tragic and there are no words to sufficiently indicate how unjust and unfair. A corrupt sheriff, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, judge, witnesses coerced to lie. The list goes on. It was so incredibly disheartening and unfair and familiar in American history. It's infuriating. Ultimately Stevenson gets the charges dropped…after 30 years. Not falsely accused, the charges were dropped. It's disgusting. This man lost his youth, his future, 20+ years with his mother who died while he was in imprisoned. When he was released he talked about how he never felt safe. Couldn't sleep at night. Couldn't sleep in comfort. His peace of mind stolen. It was just so unjust. The torture and trauma that Hinton was put through for what?!? The callous disregard for this man's life was just so palpable. Bryan Stephenson was truly his saving grace. Without Stevenson's tenacity, Hinton would have been murdered by the State of Alabama so that a sheriff could say the he solved a case. Racism and class sealed his fate. Alabama have you no shame? Read this book and you will realize the urgency of rebuilding the criminal justice system. You will understand the systemic racism and callous disregard for people that our system seems to uphold and reward. None of those people (sheriff, judge, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney ect) lost their jobs or reputations. Alabama is still so brazen in it's abdication of responsibilities to its citizens. It cost Anthony Hinton everything. It cost them nothing to rob a man of his life for no cause. It's so cynical to say that Hinton won his freedom. This man survived wrongful imprisonment with a state determined to murder him. Hinton is a remarkable man who somehow manages to preserve a sense of right and wrong, a sense of character, an intelligence, and integrity and a kindness in face of abject horror. What happened to him is reprehensible. How he lived to tell the tale and to try to share his wisdom and experience and yes his goodness is simply breath taking. 4.5 Stars Listened to the audio book. Kevin R Free was excellent!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    I honesty don't know where to start... I finished The Sun Does Shine a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. What I know for sure is that it's going to my all-time-favourites shelf right away. The Sun Does Shine is a true story of a black man from Alabama wrongfully convicted of murder, who is sent to death row. I'm a sucker for true stories, but this story was the most powerful, eye-opening one I've ever read and it evoked so much emotion in me - I was angry because of the injustice, co I honesty don't know where to start... I finished The Sun Does Shine a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. What I know for sure is that it's going to my all-time-favourites shelf right away. The Sun Does Shine is a true story of a black man from Alabama wrongfully convicted of murder, who is sent to death row. I'm a sucker for true stories, but this story was the most powerful, eye-opening one I've ever read and it evoked so much emotion in me - I was angry because of the injustice, corruption and racism that put Ray in jail; I was sad knowing that there are people full of hatred and prejudice, willing to lie in court or not care that an innocent man is going to be executed; I was inspired by Ray's resilience and his faith that he'll walk free one day and by his willingness to forgive. "Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices, and that knowledge rocked me. I may not have had as many Lester had, but I still had some choices. I could choose to give up or to hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice." This is an extraordinary book that will break you and shake your confidence in the justice system. I am grateful that this book is now available in the UK thanks to Penguin Random House, Ebury Publishing and I would recommend it to all readers. I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    A question I sometimes ask myself after reading a book is if it was worth the time I invested, time that I could have spent doing something else. In other words, do I have a takeaway? Did the book impart something of value to me? This book answers that with a resounding ‘Yes.’ I wish I could imprint the messages of ‘The Sun Does Shine’ onto every cell in my body, because it is ultimately a story about hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Who couldn’t use a little of that? Along the way there is a A question I sometimes ask myself after reading a book is if it was worth the time I invested, time that I could have spent doing something else. In other words, do I have a takeaway? Did the book impart something of value to me? This book answers that with a resounding ‘Yes.’ I wish I could imprint the messages of ‘The Sun Does Shine’ onto every cell in my body, because it is ultimately a story about hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Who couldn’t use a little of that? Along the way there is a lot of darkness, a lot of sadness, and sorrow, but Anthony Ray Hinton manages to find a way to combat his almost thirty year long night of the soul. The tools he uses are his faith, friendship, and a mother’s love, each one a powerful dragon slayer. He needs them, because the flames of depression, despair, and hopelessness would consume him otherwise. In 1985, in Alabama, Hinton shows up for the night shift at Bruno’s warehouse. He’s working as a temporary worker, behind a locked gate with a high fence surrounding the property and checks in through the guard gate. He has to check in with a supervisor as each assignment is completed and get his new assignment. Fifteen miles away Sidney Smotherman is abducted when he stopped to investigate a rear end bumper collision to his car. A gunman takes Smotherman back to Quincy’s, where Smotherman works, shoots him in the head, and robs the place. Smotherman survives and ID’s Hinton from a photograph. Being in a locked workplace and shooting someone in the head at the same time are feats of evil magic, yet Hinton is charged with this crime. There is so much more to this story that the reader will want to read for him or herself. One thing comes through loud and clear. Being poor and black in Alabama is not a good thing when it comes to the justice system. Hinton writes on page 1: “But pain and tragedy and injustices happen—they happen to us all. I’d like to believe it’s what you choose to do after such an experience that matters the most—that truly changes your life forever. I’d really like to believe that.” The prosecutor for Hinton’s trial is Bob McGregor who says, “But more so than the evidence, I have never had as strong a feeling in trying any other case that the defendant just radiated guilt and pure evil as much as in the Hinton trial. Hinton discovers after some years on death row that it’s mostly impossible to know the guilt or innocence of another man. He makes friends with Henry Francis Hays, a KKK white man who lynched a teenage black boy. There’s no doubt as to the fact that Henry committed this heinous and horrible crime, but Hinton learns that all Henry has been taught about black people is hate, whereas all of his life, Hinton was taught love by his mother. That does not excuse Henry’s actions, but it was interesting to see this man on death row from Hinton’s perspective. There’s an absolutely heartstopping passage where Henry shares a quote from James Baldwin’s book, ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain.’ “For him there was the back door, and the dark stairs, and the kitchen or the basement. This world was not for him. If he refused to believe, and wanted to break his neck trying, then he could try until the sun refused to shine; they would never let him enter.” Hinton’s response, “I don’t believe the world is not for him,” I said. “Or for anyone. We are all God’s children, and this world belongs to all of us. I know the sun will never refuse to shine. We may not see it, but I know it’s there.” Highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alice Lippart

    Well, damn.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    Beautifully written, I really sunk my teeth into this fascinating story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Ray Hinton, a young black man who spent 30 years on Alabama's Death Row. His crime? Nothing more than being born black and poor in Alabama. He was convicted of the robbery, kidnap and attempted murder of one man, and the brutal murder of two others in a short period of time. Similar robbery killings continued after he was locked up, but no one cared. All but the fact that he had an excel Beautifully written, I really sunk my teeth into this fascinating story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Ray Hinton, a young black man who spent 30 years on Alabama's Death Row. His crime? Nothing more than being born black and poor in Alabama. He was convicted of the robbery, kidnap and attempted murder of one man, and the brutal murder of two others in a short period of time. Similar robbery killings continued after he was locked up, but no one cared. All but the fact that he had an excellent alibi for the night of the crime that he went to trial for. He was locked in a warehouse surrounded by a 15' fence topped with razor wire, doing jobs with other men, mostly driving a forklift. They had a guard that signed them in and out, miles away from the crime scene. This book is a tough story of a long struggle yet filled with inspiration at the same time, as Anthony finds ways to remain strong during his time on death row. For those interested in true crime, death row stories, and wrongful imprisonment. An advance digital copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin for my honest review. St. Martin's Press Publication date is March 27, 2018.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl James

    This is a very emotional story. It saddens me to know that our justice system can be so racist and corrupt to the point where innocent men and women are placed on death row all because they are financially challenged. This story and many more like it has me challenging my thoughts about the death sentence. For all of the people who lied to place Mr. Hinton on death row may you live your life in the free world as though you too were on death row with limited hope and power of your own life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    This book tells quite a story! Anthony Ray Hinton chronicles his experience spending nearly thirty years wrongfully convicted on Death Row. It's a shocking story of resilience and injustice, though never without hope. I am not sure how someone could get through something like that and seem like such a positive person, not allowing himself to be weighed down by (rightful) resentment or anger. I'm sure The Sun Does Shine will stay with me for some time to come. It's a break from what I usually rea This book tells quite a story! Anthony Ray Hinton chronicles his experience spending nearly thirty years wrongfully convicted on Death Row. It's a shocking story of resilience and injustice, though never without hope. I am not sure how someone could get through something like that and seem like such a positive person, not allowing himself to be weighed down by (rightful) resentment or anger. I'm sure The Sun Does Shine will stay with me for some time to come. It's a break from what I usually read and though it wasn't easy, I'm glad I did! Recommended! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    5 ☆ An inspiring story that just broke my heart.. I literally had tears streaming down my face. This is one of the worst miscarriages of justice I’ve heard of due to the state of Alabama’s racial prejudice. Anthony was arrested, tried and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit + sentenced to death. In his 30 years spent on death row Anthony maintained his belief in God that he’d be exonerated + fought the system while keeping his mammas core value system intact by showing forgiveness, love, kind 5 ☆ An inspiring story that just broke my heart.. I literally had tears streaming down my face. This is one of the worst miscarriages of justice I’ve heard of due to the state of Alabama’s racial prejudice. Anthony was arrested, tried and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit + sentenced to death. In his 30 years spent on death row Anthony maintained his belief in God that he’d be exonerated + fought the system while keeping his mammas core value system intact by showing forgiveness, love, kindness, hope + optimism. This book. Wow, just WOW. It’s an AMAZING story. Keep the Kleenex handy because Anthony’s story will definitely tug hard at your heartstrings. A must read that I highly recommend!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    I cannot even begin to describe the impact reading this book has. I need some time to gather my thoughts. Full review to come...stay tuned!!! Original: After reading, and thoroughly enjoying, The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South earlier this year, my interest in wrongful conviction cases has been rekindled. The Sun Does Shine is Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir of his 28-years on Death Row following a wrongful conviction for two murders. After a decad I cannot even begin to describe the impact reading this book has. I need some time to gather my thoughts. Full review to come...stay tuned!!! Original: After reading, and thoroughly enjoying, The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South earlier this year, my interest in wrongful conviction cases has been rekindled. The Sun Does Shine is Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir of his 28-years on Death Row following a wrongful conviction for two murders. After a decade of lackluster representation, Hinton's appeal was taken on by the Equal Justice Initiative, eventually securing his freedom. I am really looking forward to reading Hinton's story and urge everyone to check it out as well. I have also linked the Equal Justice Initiative above, if you are interested in learning more about their organization and how you can help.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    Heartbreaking tale of injustice that unfortunately is not new.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Metcalf

    There's no way to know the exact second your life changes. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror. And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming. Anthony Ray Hinton. Imagine for a moment you're at home going about your business when the police arrive and arrest you for some horrendous crime you know nothing about. Scary right? Not half as scary as having nobody in a position of power believe your story. Not the police. Not your own lawyer. There's no way to know the exact second your life changes. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror. And trust me when I tell you that you never, ever see it coming. Anthony Ray Hinton. Imagine for a moment you're at home going about your business when the police arrive and arrest you for some horrendous crime you know nothing about. Scary right? Not half as scary as having nobody in a position of power believe your story. Not the police. Not your own lawyer. Not even when you have a rock solid alibi. Not even when you pass a polygraph test. But that's not all. Not only are you not believed but you are sentenced to death and spend your next 30 years on death row. Three. Decades. Think of everything that has happened in your life in the past 30 years. All the moments of love and joy. All your achievements. The people you've spent time with. The technological advancements. The choices and decisions you've made. And now imagine missing every single one of these things thanks to being falsely imprisoned. This is my definition of a nightmare. If it was fiction it would be bad enough but this was the real life experience of Anthony Ray Hinton (Ray) as told in his memoir The Sun Does Shine: How I found Life and Freedom on Death Row. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was really difficult remaining calm reading his story. Yes, I knew he would be freed eventually but I felt so angry at this absolute miscarriage of justice. Often my stomach was in knots. Countless times I swallowed down the lump in my throat on the verge of tears. Tears of sadness and tears of frustration both. The intro by Bryan Stevenson was enough to convince me I would like this book. I loved his book Just Mercy - one of my favorites this year - and this one definitely rivaled it. I wish such books were unnecessary, that the injustices that gave rise to both books didn't happen. Both Ray and Bryan came across as amazing men. Bryan Stevenson for working tirelessly, dedicating his life, to fighting for the rights of those who have been unjustly treated. Ray for remaining positive in the face of his mistreatment. For making a choice to live with love in his heart and finding a way of forgiving those who had so seriously wronged him. In his Acknowledgements Ray said if he had a billion dollars it wouldn't be enough to thank Bryan for all he did for him. I agree. If I had a billion dollars I'd like to think I could use some of it to help out the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) the foundation Bryan Stevenson started to help people just like Ray. If you haven't read either of these books I can only encourage you to do so. They were both 5 star worthy in my opinion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Blankfein

    Follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair. He was a 29 year old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother. The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it s Follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair. He was a 29 year old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother. The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it should have and he chose not speak for the first 3 years of his incarceration. Rebelling in silence as he wavered between anger and despair, he anticipated being put to death in the electric chair, knowing he was innocent but unable to prove it, despite every bit of evidence indicating the truth. As time went on, and the legal system repeatedly failed him, Hinton decided to speak up, fight for justice, and he found a way to survive death row…for almost 30 years. Visitation with his mother and best friend, Lester kept his spirits up. He learned to exercise his imagination and transport himself to different times and places. Finding comfort in this, he wanted to share the pleasure of escaping with his fellow inmates and he started a book club. He researched the law while spending his allotted “free” time in the prison library. He sought out an attorney who had his best interests in mind and the drive to prove innocence. He befriended the most unlikely alleged criminals and created a supportive and caring family for himself; sadly 54 of them were executed during his incarceration. With joy and appreciation for his relentless attorney, the unwavering love and friendship of him mother and Lester, and genuine forgiveness in his heart, Anthony Ray Hinton was released in his late 50s, in 2015. This memoir was upsetting and joyful at the same time. The judicial system, race relations, prison conditions, and the death penalty all need to be reviewed, discussed, examined and improved so innocent people are not sent to jail, and people in jail are treated humanely. We are not meant to live in a 5 x 7 cell for any amount of time and these conditions with little human contact can contribute to negativity, violence and hopelessness. Putting people to death is barbaric and a poor precedent for a government of a free country to support. Anthony Ray Hinton had incredible strength of character and faith to be able to re-enter life outside prison and find joy and purpose. I admire his immense fortitude and ability to forgive. I highly recommend this book. Visit my blog Book Nation by Jen booknationbyjen.wordpress.com to see Oprah's interview with the author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    After finishing The Sun Does Shine, I had a range of emotions. Right at the top I was angry. I was mad at the injustice of Anthony Ray Hinton being arrested for a crime he did not commit. Second, I was mad at the whole process of representation because he was poor. Then I was angry at how racist the whole judicial system is. Anthony said it best when he said judges traded their white robes for black. Hopeful that evidence in his case would set him free. He passed a polygraph test, but isn’t admi After finishing The Sun Does Shine, I had a range of emotions. Right at the top I was angry. I was mad at the injustice of Anthony Ray Hinton being arrested for a crime he did not commit. Second, I was mad at the whole process of representation because he was poor. Then I was angry at how racist the whole judicial system is. Anthony said it best when he said judges traded their white robes for black. Hopeful that evidence in his case would set him free. He passed a polygraph test, but isn’t admissible in court. No weapon found, but the police found his mother’s gun that hadn’t been used in 25 years. Public defenders that wanted him to plead guilty to a lesser charge when he is innocent. Thirty years is a long time to be incarcerated for something he didn’t do. The resilience that Anthony had to make the best out of an unspeakable situation is nothing but inspirational. Was it faith or fate when civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson picked up his case? Either way it was what Anthony needed and deserved. “Alabama persists as the only state in the nation that allows elected trial judges to override jury verdicts of life imprisonment to death with no restrictions or standards.” Looks like lynching to me. It’s remarkable what Anthony Ray Hinton endured. All the while never losing hope. How he saw light in the darkest of situations is a lesson in faith I’ll remember and carry with me. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Syl Sabastian

    A powerful, emotional read. It's not every day we get to see life from a side we wouldn't ordinarily know. Experiencing the unimaginable is powerful because we tend to not believe what we can't imagine. When we do, and we know what we didn't before, we can't undo such knowing. Awareness is powerful, as is Understanding, both which don't always come easy. This amazing story, well delivered, adds to us human beings, providing a Perspective on the human condition which extends us as people. "The mo A powerful, emotional read. It's not every day we get to see life from a side we wouldn't ordinarily know. Experiencing the unimaginable is powerful because we tend to not believe what we can't imagine. When we do, and we know what we didn't before, we can't undo such knowing. Awareness is powerful, as is Understanding, both which don't always come easy. This amazing story, well delivered, adds to us human beings, providing a Perspective on the human condition which extends us as people. "The moment we treat others as less than human, that's the moment we become monsters." A quote which comes to mind for me to represent a deep Understanding from the book. A sharing of intimacy-of-being well worth reading.

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