MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Anthony Ray Hinton’s case garnered national attention, but it started right here in Alabama. After Hinton spent thirty years on death row, it was determined that there was no evidence connecting him to the murders of two people back in 1985.
Now that Hinton is free, the question is: Why hasn’t he received compensation from the state of Alabama for his wrongful conviction?
“Everyday I think about where I was for the last thirty years,” Hinton said.
Aaryn Urell is a senior attorney who worked alongside Bryan Stevenson with the Equal Justice Initiative to help get Hinton’s conviction overturned.
“They said at trial and have said consistently since then that without a match, there’s no evidence connecting Mr. Hinton,” Urell said.
Last year, a proposal to give Hinton $1.5 million was met with mix reactions among lawmakers in the Alabama Senate.
“If we have done something wrongfully, then I’m going to look certainly look at that very objectively and do what we need to do to try to make things right,” said Senator Clyde Chambliss (R) of Autauga County.
Senator Chambliss says he believes the proposal stalled because lawmakers didn’t have enough information from both sides.
Urell is hoping the state of Alabama will do the right thing.
“It’s important for all of us to know that we have a system that is fair and that is responsible when it makes mistakes,” said Urell.
Even without the compensation, Hinton is not holding on to any bitterness.
“You give the people that did this on purpose, you give them too much power when you allow bitterness to follow you,” Hinton said.
Senator Chambliss says he believes Hinton’s case will be revisited in the next legislative session.