As one of the lieutenants that rode with Hinton to the county jail explained, “I can give you five reasons why they are going to convict you. Do you want to know what they are… Number one, you’re black. Number two, a white man gonna say you shot him. Number three, you’re gonna have a white district attorney. Number four, you’re gonna have a white judge. And number five, you’re gonna have an all-white jury.”
Making friends with a former KKK member. Watching a woman walk to the death chamber. Smelling the burning flesh of those friends you’ve made by chance on death row. Hinton also shines a light on what a “right to an attorney” actually gets you if you are poor. As his defense attorney so eloquently told him, “‘They’re only paying me $1,000 for this, and hell, I eat $1,000 for breakfast.’ He laughed.” This was Hinton’s life for 30 years. And somehow he survives.
Anthony Ray Hinton tells his story in a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching way. The reader will experience the emotions of Hinton throughout – from despair to exaltation to anxiety. Definitely worth a read.