Target: Mr. Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative
Goal: Praise group for freeing innocent man from prison and saving him from execution.
Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, has recently been granted the freedom that he always deserved thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative. EJI is a group of lawyers and legal professionals that seek out appeals that are going unheeded by the legal system and throw their strength behind those that are truly innocent. Often, EJI just needs to support appellants with legal fees or a good lawyer and they are found innocent. They deserve our most sincere gratitude for protecting those who cannot protect themselves and for saving lives every day.
Hinton was charged with murder 30 years ago when police and prosecutors asserted that bullets from a crime scene, which he was nowhere near, came from a gun found in his mother’s house. This was all speculation, most likely based on race, and was proven completely false in 1999. Despite this, Hinton still spent another 15 years waiting for the District Attorney’s office in Alabama to respond and perform a retrial.
EJI believes that Hinton is the victim of not only prosecutorial misconduct, but of a system whose apathy imprisons young black men at alarming rates without a second thought. Multiple people in positions of power were put into those positions to do the right thing and they refused to do so on numerous occasions. Despite this, and thanks to EJI, Hinton is free again and he can begin to rebuild his life. He will be demanding compensation from the state of Alabama for the last 30 years and spending as much time as he possibly can with his family. Please sign here to thank EJI for making all of this possible and spread the word that the legal system in this country is not infallible.
Dear Mr. Stevenson,
I cannot begin to imagine your joy at the recent ruling in Mr. Hinton’s retrial and I am writing to thank you for
the good, and sadly necessary, work that you do. There is no doubt that our legal system is extremely fallible and often biased, but the details of Mr. Hinton’s case are almost unbelievable. To think that so many people could be apathetic and willfully blind to the truth for so long greatly damages my faith in people. That said, the fact that people like you and your organization will work tirelessly for those that society has cast aside, and in this case truly left for dead, restores that faith.
Mr. Hinton is now the 152nd person to be freed from death row since the 1980s—a true victory that is worthy of commendation. Sadly, I understand that your work is far from over. Please continue to represent those who do not have the means to protect themselves for as long as it is necessary. Thank you again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson via Wikimedia Commons