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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and…

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Bryan Stevenson (Author)

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Title:Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Authors:Bryan Stevenson (Author)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2014), Edition: First Edition, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

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This nonfiction book is written by a civil rights lawyer about his time fighting for the rights of death row prisoners. I had no idea it would be so powerful and moving. The book focuses on one main prisoner, Walter, but includes dozens of stories of other broken preteens and mentally ill individuals who have been imprisoned for life. It was incredible to see the difference one man can make in the lives of so many.

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

“The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.” ( )
  bookworm12 | May 3, 2019 |
Intelligent, sad disheartning true stories of a lawyers stuggles to prove innocent people were sent to their deaths for crimes they did not comit. So many times, while reading, i was flabergasted with the inadequaties of the american justice system in the deep south. So much discrimination toward innocent black americans. ( )
  janismack | Mar 23, 2019 |
An eye opening read in to the American Criminal Justice treatment and how it treats the poor and disenfranchised. For a man that has done so much and seen so much injustice it is written in a balanced, reasonable and non-lecturing style. It will certainly make you look at the world in a different way. Thoroughly recommended. ( )
  muwaffaq | Mar 20, 2019 |
I think one quote from the book sums it up - Capital Punishment means people without capital are the ones who get punished. Although as some reviewers noted the book focuses on cases where Mr Stevenson won reduced sentences or even won overturns of convictions, but it's through those cases you really get to see how unjust our justice system is and remains. Yes people like Mr Stevenson have helped to make some improvements, in particular in juvenile sentences, but there is still so much more to be done. Unfortunately capitalism has made incarceration a huge private industry with all of its lobbyists to grease the pockets in D.C. to keep it as is. Very well written. If you don't mind putting the book down at night and sitting there angry unable to sleep, then it is a must read. ( )
  rayski | Feb 13, 2019 |
“It is about how easily we condemn people in this country and the injustice we create when we allow fear, anger, and distance to shape the way we treat the most vulnerable among us.”

“We’ve given up on rehabilitation, education and services for the imprisoned because providing assistance to the incarcerated is apparently too kind and compassionate.”

“Presumptions of guilt, poverty, racial bias, and a host of other social, structural and political dynamics have created a system that is defined by error, a system in which thousands of innocent people now suffer in prison.”

From the blurb and introduction I expected this book to be about prison reform and/or opposition to the death penalty, but instead it is a litany of the author’s attempts to reduce the sentences, prevent the execution or reverse the convictions of various clients. I guess I was looking for more sociology and policy and fewer anecdotes. Laws need to change. Access to justice needs to be equalized. The treatment of prisoners needs to be addressed. I didn’t gain any new insight from this book, but I hope that some people will be enlightened and that the book will advance the need for reform. The author’s work is important and parts of the book were interesting (particularly the central case involving Walter McMillian, who was wrongfully convicted) but I didn’t think it was a great book. It just wasn’t what I was looking for. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Feb 12, 2019 |
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I wasn't prepared to meet a condemned man.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812994523, Hardcover)

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time
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. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
Praise for Just Mercy
“Words such as important and compelling may have lost their force through overuse, but to read this book is to feel that they have been restored, along with one’s hopes for humanity.”—Tracy Kidder
“Bryan Stevenson is America’s young Nelson Mandela—a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all.”—Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:45 -0400)

The executive director of a social advocacy group that has helped relieve condemned prisoners explains why justice and mercy must go hand-in-hand through the story of Walter McMillian, a man condemned to death row for a murder he didn't commit.

(summary from another edition)

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