Anthony Ray Hinton felt happy to tell his story of a wrongful conviction that led him to spend three decades on death row.
If not for the work of others to help set him free, he wouldn't be alive to tell it.
"The film that you just saw will never be able to explain the 30 years of pure hell that I went through," Hinton told more than 100 people attending the Dr. Ethel H. Hall 29th Annual African-American Heritage Month Celebration.
Hinton shared the pain he went through for more than 30 years on death row to a room full of strangers Friday.
He told the audience police falsely accused him of committing two murders outside of Birmingham in 1985.
"He said let me make it clear for you right now, 'I don't care whether you did it or didn't do it, but I'm going to make sure you're found guilty of it'," Hinton explained.
And his description of the attorney who represented him brought many in the room to tears. "He said 'y'all is always doing something and then saying you didn't do it'. This is the lawyer that I had to go to trial with."
Hinton regained his freedom in 2015 after the Equal Justice Initiative argued he had a bad attorney and the gun prosecutors claimed he used couldn't have been the murder weapon.
Now a free man, he was a guest speaker for The 29th Annual Dr. Ethel H. Hall African American Heritage Month Celebration colloquium at the University of Alabama.
"I said I'm not ready to die and I don't want to die for something I didn't do," said Hinton.
Hinton is fighting and wants to be compensated for his wrongful conviction, but so far state authorities have not agreed to give him anything for his decades spent on Alabama's death row.
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