Catawba County News

Just Mercy's Success Story: Anthony Ray Hinton

Just Mercy's Success Story: Anthony Ray Hinton

March 13, 2018

Anthony Ray Hinton, who was exonerated after spending 30 years on death row for two murders he didn’t commit, will share his story on Tuesday, March 20, as a part of the recent Community Read of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

A collaboration of the Catawba County Library and Catawba Valley Community College, the Community Read challenged students and community members to read and share Stevenson’s book and to connect and discuss issues of justice and equality.

Hinton is one of the men exonerated by attorney Bryan Stevenson, who authored the award-winning Just Mercy, a powerful true story of justice and redemption. Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that advocates for the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the wrongfully condemned. His dedicated efforts have sought to bring mercy and compassion to the judgments and rulings of the criminal justice system.

Hinton was one of the longest serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and the 152nd person in the US to be exonerated since 1973. His case hinged on a revolver retrieved from his mother’s house, which did not match the evidence collected from the scene of the crime he was accused of committing. For 15 years, Stevenson and a team of attorneys tirelessly worked on Hinton’s case until they were finally granted a new trial before the US Supreme Court, where the conviction was unanimously overturned. Hinton was released in April 2015.

After an 11 am talk at CVCC’s Tarleton Center on Tuesday, March 20, Hinton will speak at the historic 1924 Courthouse in downtown Newton at 6 pm. Following the evening talk, a reception sponsored by the Catawba County Friends of the Library will be hosted by the County History Museum on the lower level of the courthouse.

The community is invited to come hear Hinton’s story of his experience with the criminal justice system and the Equal Justice Initiative. The library will distribute a select number of books for attendees who have not yet read Just Mercy.

Among the benefits of a community read are “opportunities to consider ourselves as part of our larger society, to come together to share a book, to engage civically, to discuss important issues, and ultimately, to think about how we can work together to make a difference,” said Library Director Suzanne White.

The Community Read of Just Mercy was partially funded by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

For more information about the Hinton talks, please contact the Catawba County Library at 828.465.8664, at mylibrary@catawbacountync.gov, or via Facebook.