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Thursday, October 17, 2019

What Friendship Really Looks Like

How do you show your friends how much they matter to you?

Try imagining the following: A friend you've known your whole life has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. He spends almost thirty years on death row before being fully exonerated by the United States Supreme Court. You visit him every week, without fail, for those thirty years.

Prior to reading Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir - The Sun Does Shine (2018) - I'd always thought of myself as a dedicated friend. But Hinton's childhood friend Lester Bailey, who never missed a single visiting day at Holman State Prison during Hinton's unimaginable nightmare, demonstrates what true friendship really looks like. 

Learning of Hinton's otherworldly grace and Lester Bailey's unfailing dedication while reading this book was humbling. But the story would not have had a happy ending if not for the legal brilliance and unwavering advocacy of the Equal Justice Initiative, the brainchild of author, lawyer, and social justice wunderkind Bryan Stevenson, who also wrote the moving forward to The Sun Does Shine. 

(Final mention must go to Lara Love Hardin who assisted Hinton in telling his story.)    

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