It’s not often that a book comes around that changes my POV on an important issue. I had never had a very strong stance on the death penalty before reading Anthony Ray Hinton’s story, but I definitely do now. The fact that this man was incarcerated on death row for 30 years (!) before being acquited of all charges is a true travesty of justice. And it’s really only a miracle (and one inspirational lawyer) that saved him from being executed. Hinton describes the horrors of being on death row and the small, daily indignities that exist for incarcerated individuals. Although he points out that some people deserve to be there, about one in every 10 death row prisoners is actually innocent. The powerful afterword of this memoir includes the names of every prisoner currently on death row. Hinton suggests reading the names out loud and pausing after every tenth name to say, “innocent.” This is a moving exercise, much like the rest of Hinton’s incredibly heartbreaking, yet still positive story.
(Side note: it’s easy to see why Oprah picked this for her book club – inspirational stories of disenfranchised people rising from the ashes is kinda her thing!)
*Free ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*