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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and…

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (original 2014; edition 2015)

by Bryan Stevenson (Author)

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2,5531824,064 (4.58)210
The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
Title:Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Authors:Bryan Stevenson (Author)
Info:One World (2015), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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

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A testament to the idea that one person can make a difference. Bryan Stevenson is my new hero. The way he has challenged the death penalty and worked for equal justice for all people is truly inspiring. He reminds us that our society is only as good as we treat those who are most vulnerable - a relevant lesson. While we cling to the idea of due process, a jury of our peers, and innocent until proven guilty, the reality of how that is unequally applied, or worse yet, completely disregarded gives pause. While this is Stevenson's personal account, it is not self-congratulatory or overly biased. He grounds his work in historical perspective, timely statistics, and cultural reality, then adds the human face of many of the people he has legally defended. Most prominent is Walter McMillian, sentenced to death in AL, based on flimsy evidence and egregious legal misconduct. For example, he is put on death row before he even goes to trial. While politicians and citizens alike lament the criminal justice system for myriad reasons, Stevenson has actually done something about it and though it seems like a drop in the bucket, his appeal to our common humanity is strikes a hopeful note. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Hard to read, but is an incredible and thought-provoking book that starts a much needed conversation. ( )
  Julie_Jobe | Oct 12, 2020 |
I wasn't prepared to meet a condemned man. In 1983, I was twenty-three year old student at Harvard Law School working in Georgia on an internship, eager and inexperienced and worried that I was in over my head. I had never seen the inside of a maximum security prison and had certainly never been to death row. When I learned that I would be visiting this prisoner alone, with no lawyer accompanying me, I tried not to let my panic show.
I think everyone should read this book & learn the dark side of the justice system.
  taurus27 | Oct 7, 2020 |
Humans have so many flavors of absurd cruelty. Expanding my awareness of one enrages, in fueling an inextinguishable simmer sort of way. But worse, it further diminishes my hope that we can ever exist in a less asshole-ish manner. Even when the messenger and fighter of this specific flavor is a clear beacon of hope. SO MUCH DISRESPECT FOR LIFE. Are we skewed beyond reach of a tipping point? How about within myself?

Breath in. Breath out. Do better.


My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I've come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.

We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindicate and abusive, unjust and unfair, until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others.

#drunkreview ( )
  dandelionroots | Sep 23, 2020 |
This is a difficult book. It is hard to read. I don't really cry, but it made me sick, reading this account of the horrors our justice system has inflicted on people. Human beings. Yet, Bryan Stevenson's attitude is uplifting and hopeful. It reminds me of the best things about my faith, the best things I believe. I am ashamed that I had never considered many of the issues presented in this book and inspired to look more closely into issues of justice. EVERYONE should read this book. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 16, 2020 |
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Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument. -- Reinhold Niebuhr
In memory of Alice Golden Stevenson, my mom
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[Introduction] I wasn't prepared to meet a condemned man.
The temporary receptionist was an elegant African American woman wearing a dark, expensive business suit--a well-dressed exception to the usual crowd at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC) in Atlanta, where I had returned after graduation to work full time.
[Postscript] On a warm Good Friday morning, I walked out of a Birimingham jail with an innocent man who had been condemned on Alabama's death row for nearly thirty years.
[Author's Note] With more than two million incarcerated people in the United States, an additional six million people on probation or paraole and an estimated sixty-eight million Americans with criminal records, there are endless opportunities for you to do something about criminal justice policy or help the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.
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The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

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