Read this book. It is a powerful look at the criminal justice system, poverty, and race in America, particularly in the south. Stevenson developed a passion for helping the nation's forgotten in the justice system after spending most of his internship negotiating appeals for death row prisoners and ended up founding the Equal Justice Initiative. He has dedicated his career to fighting for true justice--making sure that punishments for crimes committed are fair and that the poorest in prisons have the opportunity for representation in their cases. The book revolves around the case of Walter McMillian a black man who was falsely accused of murdering a white woman. Despite lack of evidence and a plethora of witnesses who put him nowhere near the scene of the murder, he was unjustly tried, convicted, and sentenced to death row. Packed with stories, this book is both deeply moving and extremely thought-provoking. Just read it.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson speaks to the US justice system as a whole but takes on three main issues the death penalty, racial and social inequality, and the treatment of juvenile offenders. The book anchors facts with heartbreaking examples, one case at a time. The stories makes the book readable and the facts memorable. The book begins a conversation and highlights how change can occur.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/12/just-mercy-story-of-justice-and.html
Thoroughly engaging, both sad and very happy, you learn a lot about Bryan's life's work and a lot about a few of the cases he talks about in the book. While you do get a little bit about Bryan himself, he tempers it so that the book isn't about him -- it's about the work he does and the people he serves. I think this is important because too often books like this you hear about the author's history as much - or more than - you hear about the topic of the book.
My hat is off to EJI and the work they do.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. I enjoyed listening to the audio about Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit and how Bryan Stevenson helped him and others from Alabama. Bryan has a compassion in the pursuit of true justice. I recommend reading this if you are interested in the flaws of our justice system and what needs to be changed.