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

by Bryan Stevenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7182432,396 (4.59)255
Biography & Autobiography. Law. Politics. African American Nonfiction. Nonfiction. HTML:#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • 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’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • 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 true justice.
Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book
“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books
“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review
“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”The Washington Post
“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times
“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer.
… (more)
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As a young lawyer, Bryan founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a non-profit law office dedicated to defending the poor, incarcerated and the wrongly condemned.
This is the story of EJI in its beginning with just a couple of lawyers and through the inception of what it is today – a thriving practice of over 150 people.
While the book does recount cases of several people Bryan and his team worked with in the beginning, much of the book focuses on his trying to help Walter McMillian. Walter was on death row for the murder of a young white woman that he did not commit. At the time of the murder, Walter was miles away at a family gathering and was able to prove that he wasn’t anywhere near the crime scene.
Heartbreaking at times, but also unforgettable. It is a sad book and a bit difficult to read at times but overall, a very well-written, informative, and slightly overwhelming book.
( )
  Cathie_Dyer | Feb 29, 2024 |
Heartbreaking and beautiful. ( )
  rockvillemama | Jan 24, 2024 |
important
/imˈpôrtnt/
adjective
of great significance or value ( )
  littlezen | Jan 24, 2024 |
4.5 stars ( )
  EllieBhurrut | Jan 24, 2024 |
Sadly, though published 7 years ago, this book has never been more relevant, nor more emblematic of the US criminal justice system past and present - in Alabama and every other state. Bryan Stevenson has made a difference, but the hatred and racism is vast, deep, and entrenched, as we confront one horrific injustice after another. Day after day, ad infinitum. I fervently hope Stevenson's work and that of other activists will at last put an end to it. ( )
  Octavia78 | Jan 4, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 250 (next | show all)
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Love is the motive, but justice is the instrument. -- Reinhold Niebuhr
Dedication
In memory of Alice Golden Stevenson, my mom
First words
[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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Wikipedia in English (2)

Biography & Autobiography. Law. Politics. African American Nonfiction. Nonfiction. HTML:#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • 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’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • 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 true justice.
Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book
“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books
“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review
“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”The Washington Post
“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times
“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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