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The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin

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This was an Oprah’s Book Club Summer 2018 Selection and a New York Times best-seller.  “An amazing and heartwarming story. It restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton a twenty-nine-year-old African-American man living in the Birmingham, Alabama, area was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder – murders of white men that happened when he was at work about a half-hour’s drive away. Hinton had no money for expert witnesses, inadequate knowledge of how the system worked, and a court-appointed lawyer who was pissed off that he was only getting paid a thousand dollars to defend him. Hinton was sentenced to death. The next three years he was filled with bitterness and anger. Then he decided to make the best of his life regardless of his circumstances. In 2015, the civil rights attorney, Bryan Stevenson, convinced the judges that this was a case of mistaken identity, and Anthony Ray Hardin was set free. There is lots in here – his forming a book club on death row, his friendship with the first white man ever to be executed in Alabama for killing a Black man, his firing a lawyer whose only goal was for him to get life in prison rather than to be declared innocent, and much more. “If there is ever a story that needs to be told, it is this one. Anthony Ray Hinton is extraordinary, an example to us all of the power of the human spirit to rise above complete injustice. He is using his experience as a way to turn the broken criminal justice system upside down. He is a brilliant storyteller, and his book will make people laugh, cry, and change their own lives for the better. It will also inspire people to never accept the unacceptable, like the death penalty. The Sun Does Shine will be a book that people all around the world will never forget.” - Richard Branson.

New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2018. 255 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.