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Posted under: News Politics

Viral Photo Shows Man Who Wrongfully Sat On Death Row Casting His First Ballot In 30 Years

Anthony Ray Hinton spent three decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

Voting isn't something to be taken for granted, and that's something Anthony Hinton knows all too well.

Until recently, he was unable to vote because he was wrongfully imprisoned for three decades.

On Tuesday, a photo of Hinton proudly bearing a "#VOTED" sticker on his forehead after casting his first ballot in 30 years went viral.

On the big day, the Montgomery, Alabama, resident arrived at his polling place at 7 a.m. According to The Associated Press, he was among the first people to come, waiting patiently as the doors opened

Hinton couldn't have participated in this year's elections if it wasn't for the Equal Justice Initiative. When he was 29 years old, Hinton was convicted of murdering two restaurant managers in two separate robberies in Birmingham in 1985.

Evidence from the crime scenes proved Hinton could not have committed the killings. Timecards showed he was working at his warehouse job at the time, and there were no fingerprints and no eyewitness accounts. He pleaded his innocence. Despite all of this, he was sentenced to death row. 

The only piece of evidence connecting Hinton to the murders were bullets from a .38 revolver. But it was later revealed that there were three different types at the crime scenes, and none of them were connected to him. 

"You've got to realize something, I stayed in a 5’ x 7’ for 30 years, just about. I was in that cell by myself, no one else but me," he recalled in a 2015 interview with The Marshall Project.

"I’ve got to get used to noise and the sounds of everything because it's fairly quiet on death row," he continued. "Every man is in his own world. You've got some reading books, some drawing, some watching TV, some up under their headphones. We all did our time differently."

The 2018 midterms was dominated by stories of voter suppression and the restoration of voting rights of felons. Amid the controversies, Hinton's story served as a bit of a silver lining.

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