Anthony Ray Hinton survived for 30 years on Alabama's death row. His story is a decades-long journey to exoneration and freedom. In 1985, Mr. Hinton was convicted of the unsolved murders of two fast-food restaurant managers based on the testimony of ballistics experts for the State who claimed that the crime bullets came from a dusty revolver found in Mr. Hinton's mother’s closet. Without the benefit of a competent expert to challenge the State’s theory (Mr. Hinton’s lawyer hired a ballistics expert who was blind in one eye), an all-white jury convicted Mr. 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 his mother’s revolver. With the assistance of the Equal Justice Initiative, led by attorney Bryan Stevenson, Mr. Hinton was freed in 2015. Since his release, Mr. Hinton has traveled the world sharing his story and discussing the changes that need to be made to prevent similar injustices from happening to other people. In 2018, Mr. 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. In 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Bonaventure University.
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EQUITY AND INEQUALITY IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
A Book and Speaker Series
In the Fall semester (2022-2023), Ohio University faculty, students, and the surrounding community were invited to meet throughout the semester to investigate social justice issues of equity and inequity in the criminal justice system.
This project included a book discussion group, film screening, speakers and panelists, and the collecting of stories for the Story Box. Students were engaged as organizers and facilitators, as well as participants and volunteers.
The project used the book: The Sun Does Shine: How I found Freedom on Death Row (2018) by Anthony Ray Hinton as an anchor text to invite deeper conversations around issues surrounding diversity, equity, and justice.
Anthony Ray Hinton
Activist, Best-Selling Author, The Sun Does Shine
SOCIAL JUSTICE EVENTS
Table Talk Book Discussion Meetings
The table talk book discussion meeting centered around The Sun Does Shine. Participants investigated social justice issues of equity and inequity in the criminal justice system.
Book Discussion Virtual Session
The regional campus book discussion virtual discussion centered around The Sun Does Shine. Participants investigated social justice issues of equity and inequity in the criminal justice system.
Anthony Ray Hinton
Anthony Ray Hinton is the author of "The Sun Does Shine: How I found Freedom on Death Row" (2018) which was used as an anchor text to invite deeper conversations around issues surrounding diversity, equity, and justice.
There was be a book signing following the presentation.
Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. + Panel
Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Churches, will address the death penalty.
Following the presentation, the panel presented solution-based programs in the criminal justice system with a Q & A at the conclusion. Panelists included: Ronette Burkes and Keith Tremblay.
Ronette Burkes has 22 years of service with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and has served in various capacities including more recently as Warden, Regional Director of Specialty Prisons and currently as the Deputy Director of Reentry.
Keith Tremblay is a behavioral health specialist for Fairfield County Juvenile Court. He works with youth and families involved within this system.
Tour of Marysville Prison
Student Ambassadors toured the prison and spent time with women who were incarcerated in Marysville Correctional Institutions to explore rehabilitation and incarceration.
The activity was not open to the public.
"Seats at the Table" Film Screening
Participants were invited to a special movie screening of “Seats at the Table”. This feature documentary film by Chris Farina (Rosalia Films) portrayed a remarkable college class which connected university students with prisoners of a maximum security juvenile facility as they discussed classic works of Russian Literature.
No registration required.
The Story Box Project
Students were asked to collect stories, reflections, and action plans at each event and these stories were then shared wherever the Story Box traveled. The Story Box travelled to regional campuses, and other places such as a correctional intuition, schools, and more. Each story from the Story Box locations was read, shared and invitations to add to the box was granted.
Sponsored in part by a stewardship grant from the Office of Undergraduate Experiential Learning
Social Justice Service Project
As a component of The Social Justice Project, participants collected yarn (any kind or color), thread, batting, and poster boards (large) for prisoners at Marysville to use in the creation of their community stitching post projects.