Anthony Ray Hinton, one of Alabama’s longest-serving death row inmates will go free today after prosecutors acknowledged that there’s not enough evidence linking him to the 1985 murders for which he already has served nearly three decades, NPR reports. Jefferson County Judge Laura Petro dismissed the case against Hinton after the district attorney’s office said forensic experts couldn’t determine if six crime scene bullets, the crux of the evidence against him at an expected retrial, came from a gun investigators took from his home, the Associated Press reports.
Hinton, 57, was arrested in 1985 in the killings of two men in separate hold-ups of fast-food restaurants in the Birmingham area after his mother’s .38-caliber revolver was linked to the crime. The Equal Justice Initiative consulted top firearms examiners who testified in 2002 that the revolver could not be matched to crime evidence. State prosecutors never questioned the new findings but had refused to re-examine the case or concede error.