Anthony Ray Hinton was freed from jail after spending nearly 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. Upon his release, Anthony Ray Hinton, a 58 years old African-American, only said about the case: "All they had to do was to test the gun."
The US Supreme court ruled last year, after a second trial was opened, that Mr Hinton did not have adequate counsel during the first trial. During the
first trial, Hinton's lawyer had hired an incompetent expert who was not even able to explain his findings to the jury. The expert was paid $1,000, the only amount Mr Hinton could afford. During the trial, jurors seemed embarrassed and some laughed as the expert struggled to answer questions during cross-examination.
Hinton's lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, confirming the fact that the conviction was due to the lack of adequate legal counsel because he could not afford paying good lawyers and experts, said that the state had robbed Hinton of his best days in life and would not be able to bring them back.
Upon being released from the Jefferson Country Jail in Birmingham, Mr Hinton hugged several family members waiting for him and said: "Thank you, Jesus."
Hinton had been on death row after being convicted of murdering two restaurant managers in Birmingham, Alabama in 1985. He was granted a new trial in 2014. Further tests on bullets found at the crime scene showed that these bullets did not match the gun found at Mr Hinton's home. Based on these results, the prosecutors dropped the case.