Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Sun Does Shine

Anthony Ray Hinton loved his mama more than anything in the world. He loved his church and he loved his best friend Lester. He loved women, good southern food and living in Alabama. His life was simple and he hoped to get married, have children and teach them how to play baseball, something he was very good at in high school. One day in 1985, at 29 years old Ray was cutting his mama’s lawn and was confronted by two Alabama deputies. What began as a few questions led to Ray being tagged for two counts of capital murder and one attempted murder. They found an old gun that had not been fired in 25 years in his mama’s home. They did not care that he was working the night of the attempted murder 15 miles away and that these murders did not share the same bullets. None of this mattered to the courts. His appointed attorney had made it quite clear. The jury would be white. The judge would be white. Unless Ray and his family could come up with some money for his defense, there was nothing he could do to stop this train wreck from happening. The jury gave him life, the judge overturned the sentence - eager to send him to Death Row. Ray spent the next 28 years fighting for his life through appeal after appeal. Ray watched his fellow inmates walk to their death, the smell lingering for days afterward. Keeping faith and hope alive under the most dire circumstances was not easy. One day g-d sent Ray an angel by the name of Bryan Stevenson who reopened the case and won Ray his freedom. At 60 years old Ray’s life was just beginning and this magnificent memoir is his story. Expertly written with the help of Lara Love Hardin (The Many Lives of Mama Love) I was mesmerized by the sunshine that fills this man’s heart. The hope he shares after being wrongfully incarcerated is astounding and a lesson to us all.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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