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The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  18,839 ratings  ·  3,135 reviews
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. Stun
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 27th 2018)
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4.58  · 
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 ·  18,839 ratings  ·  3,135 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, angry, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. Not that he never got angry, he did, but he still hung on, didn't give up. He had a best friend, Lester a childhood friend who never missed visits, a mother to whom he was her baby boy, always asking him when he would be coming home, and he had his faith in God. His first lawyer in ...more
Can you imagine?

Can you imagine being convicted of multiple murders you never committed and sentenced to death by electrocution?

Can you imagine spending thirty years of your life in a tiny room next to the Death Room where they electrocute men and women, always wondering when the guards will show up in front of your cell to let you know the date of your own execution?

Hoping, praying that the truth will come out, that you will have a chance to prove your innocence, but being told again and again
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 inspirational and unforgettable stars to The Sun Does Shine! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder and spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama. His cell was close enough to the execution block that all his senses knew when someone’s time had come.

Hinton’s public defender was incompetent and so was the star witness in ballistics who happened to be blind in one eye and asked for help in doing his job. Add to that a district attorney with an axe to grind, an all white jury and judg
Until we have a way of ensuring that innocent men are never executed. Until we account for the racism in our courts, in our prisons, and in our sentencing. The death penalty should be abolished.

Anthony Ray Hinton is an amazing and Godly man. He's a much better person than I am. Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. This innocent man could have been put to death, for the crime of being black & poor. His trial was a sham, his court appointed lawy
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
If you haven’t read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson , it’s a must read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system in the US and especially the death penalty. Strike that — it’s a must read for everyone.

The Sun Does Shine has a foreword by Bryan Stephenson, but it is written by Anthony Ray Hinton, an inmate who was on death row in Alabama for 30 years. Hinton was sentenced to death for murders he did not commit. He is black and was too poor to afford a
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an account of an innocent man who spent 30 years on a death row in Alabama. Tragedy which could have devastated most of people ... However, Mr Hinton remained sane thanks to his faith, his mother and his best friend, and because he knew he was not guilty. What happened to him is beyond words and his voice is valuable regarding the capital punishment. You can only admire Mr Hinton who, against the odds, found strength to survive.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, back in 2016 and that book has STUCK WITH ME. So there was no question that I would read this book, about one of the many innocent people Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative has fought hard to free after they have been wrongly convicted as guilty and sentenced to death. Thanks to Stevenson my viewpoint was forever changed about the death penalty, and this book further cemented it. This book is about a terrible i ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Last year I read Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy. It was crushing to read about a justice system based on convictions and political gain at the expense of innocent men. It led me to read I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi about the death of Earl Garner and also to Michelle Ko's Reading with Patrick. Each book is a moving account of the stories behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

So when I saw that one of the Death Row inmates represented by Stevenson had written his own book I had to read it.

Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row Anthony Ray Hinton provides a first person account of his 30 years on Death Row - An innocent man served 30 - no, that’s not a typo - years in prison for a crime he did not commit - That’s my entire life.

Hinton talks about his life growing up in Alabama, but most of the book focuses on his time spent on Death Row because sadly, that’s where he was forced to spend the majority of his life. He is 62 today.

There are some real disgus
Emer (A Little Haze)
"It was nothing less than a lynching - a legal lynching - but a lynching all the same. The anger I had tried so hard to stuff down and pray away was back in full force. My only crime was being born black, or being born black in Alabama. Everywhere I looked in his court room, I saw white faces - a sea of white faces. Wood walls, wood furniture, and white faces. The court room was impressive and intimidating. I felt like an uninvited guest in a rich man's library. It's hard to explain exactly wha
Joey R.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began reading “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Hinton after my mom told me it was one of the best books she has ever read. After completing the book in less than 3 days, I have to agree it is one of the most inspiring and well written accounts of one man’s journey through adversity that I have ever read. Hinton does an outstanding job telling his life story and the ups and downs he went through as a result of poverty and the bad decisions he made early in his life. The turning point of his life ...more
As I write this review, I am wiping tears from my face -- tears that flowed more than once as I was reading this amazing book. It is hard to describe the gamut of emotions I felt as I followed Anthony Ray Hinton’s incredible story of having to spend 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Disgusted, appalled, angry, outraged – none of these words seem to be sufficient in relaying my feelings towards the blatant miscarriage of justice that was described in this book as well as towards ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible story! My heart hurt for Anthony Ray Hinton, an innocent man with extraordinary patience who sat on death row in a 5x7 ft cell for 30 years. This man missed half his life due to an unconscionable travesty of justice in Alabama’s court system before finally being exonerated and set free in 2015 at 58 years old after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget Ray’s story. Surely, the Alabama Senate will find it in their hearts to compensate this ...more
I honesty don't know where to start... I finished The Sun Does Shine a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. What I know for sure is that it's going to my all-time-favourites shelf right away.

The Sun Does Shine is a true story of a black man from Alabama wrongfully convicted of murder, who is sent to death row. I'm a sucker for true stories, but this story was the most powerful, eye-opening one I've ever read and it evoked so much emotion in me -

I was angry because of the injustice, co
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine being accused of a crime you didn't commit. Imagine that because you are poor, you cannot afford to hire a decent attorney but must instead rely on a public defender who is over-worked and doesn't really care whether or not you are convicted? Imagine not having the money needed to hire the experts who would prove your innocence. Imagine being sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton,
A question I sometimes ask myself after reading a book is if it was worth the time I invested, time that I could have spent doing something else. In other words, do I have a takeaway? Did the book impart something of value to me? This book answers that with a resounding ‘Yes.’ I wish I could imprint the messages of ‘The Sun Does Shine’ onto every cell in my body, because it is ultimately a story about hope, redemption, and forgiveness. Who couldn’t use a little of that? Along the way there is a ...more
Valerity (Val)
Beautifully written, I really sunk my teeth into this fascinating story of the wrongful conviction of Anthony Ray Hinton, a young black man who spent 30 years on Alabama's Death Row. His crime? Nothing more than being born black and poor in Alabama. He was convicted of the robbery, kidnap and attempted murder of one man, and the brutal murder of two others in a short period of time. Similar robbery killings continued after he was locked up, but no one cared.

All but the fact that he had an excel
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book tells quite a story! Anthony Ray Hinton chronicles his experience spending nearly thirty years wrongfully convicted on Death Row. It's a shocking story of resilience and injustice, though never without hope. I am not sure how someone could get through something like that and seem like such a positive person, not allowing himself to be weighed down by (rightful) resentment or anger. I'm sure The Sun Does Shine will stay with me for some time to come. It's a break from what I usually rea ...more
Cheryl James
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very emotional story. It saddens me to know that our justice system can be so racial and corrupt to the point where innocent men and women are placed on death row all because they are financially challenged. This story and many more like it has me challenging my thoughts about the death sentence. For all of the people who lied to place Mr. Hinton on death row may you live your life in the free world as though you too were on death row with limited hope and power of your own life.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After finishing The Sun Does Shine, I had a range of emotions. Right at the top I was angry. I was mad at the injustice of Anthony Ray Hinton being arrested for a crime he did not commit. Second, I was mad at the whole process of representation because he was poor. Then I was angry at how racist the whole judicial system is. Anthony said it best when he said judges traded their white robes for black.

Hopeful that evidence in his case would set him free. He passed a polygraph test, but isn’t admi
Jennifer Blankfein
Follow for all reviews and recommendations.

The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and important memoir, showing a discouraging side of our legal system and an incredible testament of stamina and hope.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in Alabama and sentenced to the electric chair. He was a 29 year old, poor, black man who had a job, a happy disposition and was a devoted son to his loving mother. The judicial system did not protect Hinton as it s
Syl Sabastian
A powerful, emotional read. It's not every day we get to see life from a side we wouldn't ordinarily know. Experiencing the unimaginable is powerful because we tend to not believe what we can't imagine. When we do, and we know what we didn't before, we can't undo such knowing. Awareness is powerful, as is Understanding, both which don't always come easy. This amazing story, well delivered, adds to us human beings, providing a Perspective on the human condition which extends us as people. "The mo ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
[4+] A powerful book about Anthony Ray Hinton's fight for justice (with the help of Bryan Stevenson) after being wrongly imprisoned and sentenced to death. The audio book was very well done and quite gripping. An excellent book to read after Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy." Bryan Stevenson is an American hero and should win the Nobel Peace prize.
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
He was a poor man in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. — Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
Mr. Anthony Ray Hinton’s “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” was an emotional & difficult read, even more so because it’s a true story. I know so much has already been said about this, but it’s a powerful book of hope, love, and justice. Ultimately, h
Diane Yannick
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book hit me in the gut. Hard. Sure, I’ve read other books about men who have been wrongly convicted of murder and ended up on death row. Yet, somehow, this one put me inside those bars and held me there. Hinton told his story with grace, hope and forgiveness.

Imagine for a minute having an ironclad alibi that no one will even bother to check out. Your state assigned lawyer is pathetic and mostly cares about the fact that he’s only getting paid $1000. Hinton begged to be heard. It wasn’t unti
Stephanie Anze
"Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices and that knowledge rocked me.
I could choose to give up or hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice."

In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was accused of shooting a restaurant manager and of killing other tw0. Despite the fact that he had a solid alibi, and was in fact innocent of all charges, Hinton was found guilty and sentenced to death in Hol
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"There is no sadder place to be in this world than a place where there's no hope. "

"You need to hold on to your hope. If you have hope, you have everything."

"The sun does shine."

-Anthony Ray Hinton

Hinton’s book is about his 30 years, roughly a generation, on death row for a crime he did not commit. It is just another example of how the criminal justice system is unfair to people of color and the poor. Through it all Hinton had a great support system: his mother, his friend Lester, and his lawye
Kyleigh M
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an eye-opener! I had no idea that death row was so horrific and terrifying. As Anthony Ray Hinton says in the book, "Can we judge who deserves to live and who deserves to die?" My answer is no. He experienced so much and was mercilessly robbed thirty years of his life and was innocent the entire time. No one deserves that. At the end of the book, he gives you a list of names of people who are on death row as of March 2017. There are 1071 names on that list. 1071. (Yes I counted.) He tells y ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2018
5 ☆ An inspiring story that just broke my heart.. I literally had tears streaming down my face.
This is one of the worst miscarriages of justice I’ve heard of due to the state of Alabama’s racial prejudice. Anthony was arrested, tried and convicted for a crime he didn’t commit + sentenced to death. In his 30 years spent on death row Anthony maintained his belief in God that he’d be exonerated + fought the system while keeping his mammas core value system intact by showing forgiveness, love, kind
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was such a heartbreaking read.

It also had my blood boiling. Who are these people elected in to play God? The State of Alabama should be so embarrassed.

This was such an interesting and touching story. I read a lot of it with (I'm sure) a shocked look on my face when I could not believe all the imbecile moves being played behind the scenes with Hinton's life.

I really found the part about Henry very interesting, as well.

Good luck on any and all future endeavors Mr. Hinton. You deserve it.
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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.
“Despair was a choice. Hatred was a choice. Anger was a choice. I still had choices, and that knowledge rocked me. I may not have had as many Lester had, but I still had some choices. I could choose to give up or to hang on. Hope was a choice. Faith was a choice. And more than anything else, love was a choice. Compassion was a choice.” 41 likes
“Every single one wants to matter. We want our lives, and our stories and the choices we made or didn’t make to matter.” 24 likes
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