Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection
The Instant New York Times Bestseller
A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.
"An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity."
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence--full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon--transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.
With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton's memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man's freedom, but you can't take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
- ISBN-13: 9781250124715
- ISBN-10: 1250124719
- Publisher: Book Depot
- Publish Date: October 2018
Defining life on death row
BookPage Top Pick in Nonfiction, April 2018
In 1985, Jefferson County, Alabama, suffered a string of armed robberies. The robber would attack restaurant managers, take their cash, force them into the cooler and then shoot them in cold blood. Two managers died; the third survived and gave a description of the attacker to the police. Based on this identification, the sheriff’s department arrested Anthony Ray Hinton, an African-American man out on parole for auto theft.
But Hinton had an ironclad alibi: At the time of the third robbery, he was at work 15 miles away, with a security guard who noted Hinton’s whereabouts throughout his shift. Furthermore, Hinton took and passed a polygraph test. He was innocent. Yet the district attorney pursued Hinton’s conviction with the grim determination of the furies, aided in his dogged efforts by an incompetent defense attorney, a racist jury and a judge who ruled in the State’s favor at every turn. Hinton was eventually tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the two murders. He spent 30 years on death row before being released in 2015. Hinton tells his story in his harrowing, powerful memoir, The Sun Does Shine.
This book is filled with questions that infuriate. Why did the DA ignore the evidence of Hinton’s innocence? Why would the State ignore prosecutorial misconduct and refuse to consider new exonerating evidence? Why spend so much time, effort and money to execute a man for a murder he demonstrably did not commit?
Yet The Sun Does Shine is also filled with grace. Through his faith in God, the love of his friends and mother, his commitment to the other inmates on death row and the unstinting support of his appellate attorney (Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative), Hinton maintained his soul in a soulless world. His experience gives him a peerless moral authority on the death penalty, and he raises powerful questions about the practice. Hinton’s voice demands to be heard.