Hinton’s talk is made possible by the Hyatt Student Activities Fund.
Hinton’s story is a decades-long journey to exoneration and freedom. In 1985, he was convicted of the unsolved murders of two fast-food restaurant managers based on the testimony of ballistics experts for the state of Alabama who claimed that the crime bullets came from a dusty revolver found in Hinton’s mother’s closet. Hinton’s lawyer hired a ballistics expert who was blind in one eye, and without the benefit of a competent expert to challenge the State’s theory, an all-white jury convicted Hinton, and he was sentenced to death.
After years of petitioning to have the revolver re-analyzed, three independent experts concluded that the bullets could not have been fired from Hinton’s mother’s revolver. With the assistance of the Equal Justice Initiative, led by attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton was freed in 2015. Since his release, he has traveled the world sharing his story and discussing the changes that need to be made to prevent similar injustices from happening to others.
In 2018, Hinton published The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and is a New York Times bestseller. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Bonaventure University in 2019.