Alabama death row inmate, Anthony Hinton, freed after 30 years

Anthony Ray Hinton tears up as he walks as a free man after spending more than 15 years on death row.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who was on death row for thirty years, will now go free.  He was charged with the murder of two fast food managers back in 1985.

Hinton’s attorney said that the prosecutors will not re-try Hinton for the two 1985 murders. Hinton was one of the longest serving death row inmates in the state. On Friday he’ll become a free man.

Fast food managers, John Davidson and Thomas Vason were killed in 1985. Two separate murders, different locations but the same kind of death. They were both forced into a restaurant cooler and shot twice in the head. The court found Anthony Hinton guilty of the two murders. Fast forward to Thursday, April 2nd, 2015, the prosecution says there’s not enough evidence to link Hinton to the crimes.

“Mr. Hinton was not the person responsible for this crime,” said Equal Justice Initiative attorney Bryan Stevenson, “We presented evidence in court 15 years ago that made it clear.”

Now fifteen years later, Hinton is a free man. Experts say there was not enough evidence that the bullets fired belonged to the gun found in his home.

“This is long overdue,” said Stevenson, “to spend thirty years on death row for a crime you didn’t commit is really unimaginable to most of us.”

A lot has changed since 1985. The Mrs. Winners where Davidson was killed is now an On Tap Sports Café, and the Captain D’s where Vason was murdered is now a gas station. The biggest change of all, Hinton is no longer responsible for the murders. But as Stevenson says, the world Hinton is coming back to is a very different place, “The world is a very different place today than it was thirty years ago so there will be challenges for him but nothing like the challenge of being locked down on death row in a solitary cell for the last thirty years.”

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