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The Sun Does Shine
Cover of The Sun Does Shine
The Sun Does Shine
How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection)
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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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • ANTHONY RAY HINTON spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he didn't commit. Released in April 2015, Hinton now speaks widely on prison reform and the power of faith and forgiveness. He lives in Alabama.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2017

    Arrested in 1985 Alabama and convicted for a crime he did not commit, Hinton spent nearly three decades on death row before his 2015 release. In the intervening years, he decided to survive by serving as a source of spiritual strength to others on death row. With a 100,000-copy announced market distribution.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2018
    An urgent, emotional memoir from one of the longest-serving condemned death row inmates to be found innocent in America.One night in July 1985, Hinton was locked in a secure warehouse of a supermarket for his overnight shift when, 15 miles away, the assistant manager of a local restaurant was kidnapped at gunpoint, robbed, and shot in the head. Less than a week later, police showed up at Hinton's house to arrest him for that crime and the murders of two other local Alabama restaurant managers. Hinton was black, 29, living at home with his mother, and innocent of all charges. At his trial, his lawyer presented an incompetent defense that failed to refute the state's distorted evidence and several witnesses' false claims. Hinton was found guilty of two counts of capital murder and sentenced to death by electric chair. For the next three decades, he maintained his innocence in solitary confinement on Alabama's death row, where he watched more than 50 men led past his cell to the execution chamber just 30 feet away. The truth of Hinton's innocence and his unshakable faith in God helped him cope with prison life and several failed repeal attempts until Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, eventually took up his case and brought it all the way to the Supreme Court. After nearly 30 years, all charges against Hinton were dropped, and he was released from prison in 2015. Woven into vivid descriptions of life behind bars are flashbacks to the author's childhood, court transcripts, police documents, news clippings, and correspondence that reveal the roles racism, poverty, and fear played in creating a deeply biased criminal justice system that punishes the poor and people of color. Stevenson (Just Mercy, 2014) provides a powerful foreword.A heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about truth, justice, and the need for criminal justice reform.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 26, 2018
    In this intense memoir, Hinton recounts his three-decade nightmare: awaiting execution for crimes he didn’t commit. In 1985, Hinton, then 29, was charged with a series of violent robberies as well as the murders of two restaurant managers in Birmingham, Ala. Hinton passed a polygraph test and was in a locked warehouse during one robbery, but that didn’t prevent an all-white jury from finding him guilty after only two hours (the death penalty recommendation took another 45 minutes). Hinton here provides a convincing description of continued segregation and injustice in the deep South that cages the underclass as effectively as prison walls. His depictions of prison life are wrenching, as when he recalls the 1987 electric chair execution of Wayne Ritter and how the smell of Ritter’s burning flesh “burned my nose and stung my throat.” Forced to hone his mind to withstand overwhelming isolation, Hinton read voraciously and studied his case. With the unwavering support of his mother and his best friend, Hinton created a fulfilling life for himself, which included running a book club for death row inmates. After many years, his dogged pursuit of justice led civil rights attorney Bryan Stephenson to adopt his cause. Hinton was freed from prison in 2015, and now works as a motivational speaker. Hinton’s life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose.

  • The Harvard Crimson

    "Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing a racist system in South Africa. Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row because a racist system still exists in America. Both emerged from their incarceration with a profound capacity to forgive. They are stunning examples of how the most horrendous cruelty can lead to the most transcendent compassion. The Sun Does Shine is both a cautionary tale for all who think that a great nation can easily forget its past and inspiring proof of the inability to condemn a man's capacity for hope, love, and joy. An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    "No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world." - Bryan Stevenson, New York Times Bestselling Author, Just Mercy

    "If...

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Anthony Ray Hinton
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