Daily Archives: August 8, 2017

Equal Justice Initiative

An update from Grace C., a senior majoring in pre-law: Today we visited two of my favorite places: the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Equal Justice Initiative. I really appreciate all of the work they do to promote public awareness of human rights issues, especially through litigation. At EJI, we had the pleasure to hear from Anthony Ray Hinton. My jaw actually dropped when he entered the room because just 5 months earlier I was at EJI for the Civil Rights Pilgrimage and we watched his video. It gave me chills then, but I never even imagined having the opportunity to hear him speak to us today. It really hit me when I heard his story. I mean I [...]

2017-08-08T15:13:12+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|


An update from law student Brenda B.:   She shot us a quizzical look. “Now why are you going to Parchman?” Beth Henry asked in her sweet, Southern drawl. Outside Catherine’s Exquisite Edibles in downtown Cleveland, Mississippi, four of us, students, had met this bubbly and charming local who could very well serve as the town ambassador. Mississippi’s Parchman Farm, the second “prison farm” on our tour, is both renown for inspiring delta blues musicians and notorious for its historic, inhumane inmate conditions (not unlike many Southern facilities). “The school brought us there as kids, so that we wouldn’t want to go back,” Beth half joked. Unfortunately, SMU’s visit to Parchman would be limited to a view from across the [...]

2017-08-11T11:27:32+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|

“Where do I go to receive justice?”

An update from Jennifer M., doctoral candidate studying prison reform: “Where do I go to receive justice?”  Anthony Ray Hinton asked this question at the end of his presentation at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL. He had just described how he came to be arrested for a double murder in 1985, and the 30 years he spent on death row in Alabama. Mr. Hinton was innocent. The story he told presented a shocking view of the white supremacist culture of the Deep South. According to Mr. Hinton, the police who investigated his case didn’t think he was guilty, but they worked to convict him, anyway. One of these officers assured Hinton that he didn’t care if he was [...]

2017-08-11T11:35:04+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|