Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

11 hrs and 4 mins

This 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 thi most rilliant 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 me and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young an 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.
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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
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Published October 21st 2014 by Random House Audio

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I prefer to downplay the important breakthroughs of my life and times, Television, Computers, a second industrial revolution of Technology, several wars, the quest for Space, and he Civil Rights Movement.

Certainly this conflict of soul is why books such as Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption interest me so much.Bryan Stevenson didn ’ t start out walking the path to where he is today.

During his time he spent many hours seeking appeals for inmates on death row. ” I wasn ’ t prepared to meet a condemned man. ” " I ad actuall seen the nside of a maximum security prison and certainly had never been on death row. ” Steve Bright, the head of the project, met his plane.

He told Bryan ” Capital punishment means ‘ them without the capital get the punishment. ’ We can ’ t help people on death row without help from people like you. ” It came time for Stevenson to meet one of the en in a case they were working on.

Could you imagine this inexperienced, twenty-three year old driving himself to this high security prison to meet with a man accuse of murder and sentenced to die?

When it ’ s time to leave Henry just asks that Stevenson come back soo.

I feel the last line is just “ I ’ m a good person. ” ” So is Bryan Stevenson.Another case reviewed is that of Louis Taylor, just 16, in moment of poor choice visits a happy hour in a local restaurant.

An article in The Washington Post The State of Equality and Justice in America: The Presumption of Guilt outlines what happens after Taylor serves 42 years in prison.Bryan Stevenson establishes The Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit in Montgomery, Alabama that represents wrongful convictions and has won many exonerations.

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HONESTLY ......... it was DEEPLY POWERFUL!!!! “ We must reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent ".

Most gunshot victims do n't die after nine months, and it was interestin that the state was seeking the death penalty in this case. " INJUSTICE!!!! Bryan Stevenson 's book " JUST MERCY.

It was definitely the most revolutionary book -- ( an opening for transformation), to date on thi subject ... but I had such a challenging time getting past the authors style of writing.

At he same time 80% of the eople in my local book club, ( 30 people), thought her book was the greatest nove to date on his topic.


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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption was chosen as a Group Read for June, 2015, by On the Southern Literary Trail.

Bryan Stevenson has written a compelling memoir with Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

his is an important work which should be read by any individual who is concerned with the ide of Justice and incidents of Injustice that merit compassion and mercy.Stevenson, the cofounde of the Equal Justice Initiative, and its Executive Director, is a committed advocate opposed to the mposition of the death penalty, an advocate for unjustly imprisoned children, and an iconic American citizen at the forefront of discussing racism as reflected in the Judicial System.

inally, I ’ ve come to understand that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the portraya of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality can not be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us.

Thi true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned. ” -Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption revolves around the case of an innocent woma, Walter McMillian, a whit an who ad a white girl friend in Monroe County, Alabama, framed by the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and sentence by a Jury for the murdere of a clerk in a dry cleaner 's shop.

Strangely, though no law provided for it, the Sheriff succeeded in McMillian being held on death row prior to trial within the Alabama penitentiary system.

McMillian was held on death row for a total of six years.

Walter McMillian, Exonerated Although the case occurs in the home town and county of Harper Lee, the community which has gained fame from Lee 's To Kill a Mockingbird, there is no Atticus Finch to implore the Jury, " For the happines of God, do your duty. " Bryan Stevenson surfaces as a real life Atticus Finch who ultimately gathers the evidence, uncovers the chicanery and political machinations that imprisoned McMillian.

Stevenson who was a young fledgling attorney not long out of law school.

A bubbling anger appears to roil within him at the injustices he has ontinued to attempt to right in those years following McMillian 's exoneration.

I have to wonder if Stevenson bears a burden that prevents him from having faith in any system responsible for the administration of justice.

Whether it is possible for him to approach any adversary opposite the court room without feeling there is he explanatio of fairness.I was a prosecuting attorney for almost twenty-eight years.

Although the Alabama Legislature had authorized death by electrocution in 1923, there was no way to carry out that sentence until 1927.

Kilby Prison, 1922-1969, Montgomery County, Alabama Alabama needed a way to electrocute Horace DeVaughan for a double murder committed in Birmingham.

It 's a lot to sa about when you want a man 's jury of his peers to kill him.

I have the utmost respect for Stevenson, though we would have een on opposite sides of the court room had we ever met in one.I have tried my share of Capital cases.

Ironically, the Jury 's sentencing recommendation in all but one Life in Prison Without Parole.

There is a growing geriatric population in our prisons.The law prevents an Alabama Prosecutor from telling a Jury that the Legislature could one day allow the possibility of parole in a Capital case.

Were a Prosecuting Attorney do that, it mus be reversible error.In each Capital case I have tried, the Judge presiding followed the Jury 's sentencing recommendation.

In each case, I decide not want the Judge to override the Jury 's recommendation.

When the Jury recommended Mercy, I believed Justice had been done.There is that one case, though.

Thi case where I wishe the death penalty, the convictio was guilty.

The Jury 's recommendation was death.

The weight of the baby supported underneath his arms by the flesh between your thumbs and forefingers.Think of the amount of force necessary to break the cartilaginous ribs of a two yea old child.

I do elieve there are ases where the denial of mercy is just.But. There is not the possibility of a " But. " I disagre with almost every word Bryan Stevenson wrote.Surprised?

To me, the inability to " Win " and not " Lose " is instilled in the student of Law. And, therein, lies the danger of Hubris in an adversarial process where the ossibility of pride overtakes principle.Perhaps, I have greater faith in our Judicial system that Stevenson.

Or, perhaps I have too much.There is the point at which we took the road the other did not.The Tragedy of Walter McMillanThe behavior of two Monroe County District Attorneys primarily contributed to Walter McMillian 's conviction and unlawful imprisonment.

As th result Graves, an innocent woma, was arrested for eighteen years for a crime he did n't commit.It has been fundamental constitutional law since 1963 that prosecutors have an absolute duty to disclose evidence exculpatory to the Defendant.

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Please note, if tha was a review of the historia, Bryan Stevenson 's, career and life story, my rating ould be 5+ stars.

My impression of and respect for Bryan Stevenson as an individual is extremely high and would go well beyond a 4 star rating.I felt like I ha in a constant state of shock while reading the never-ending examples of case law describing people being mistreated and wrongly convicted due to racism and/or to appease law enforcement ersonnel and goals.

He " founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and me and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. " Bryan Stevenson 's attitude, work ethic and goals were the " light " and positivity shining throughout this nove.

People like him are what kee this world a wors place! I had to be in " full concentration mode " while reading the nove as it is very factual, with a lot of statistics and examples.

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And he does this because Alabama didn ’ t provide public defenders for those appeal cases.

( Even after the US Supreme Court ruled life without parole couldn ’ t pply to juveniles, Pennsylvania said it didn ’ t pply to those already convicted.

Those two books will shock and dismay you when you read the total incompetence or corruption of the southern police force.

But ook has cemented in my thinkin that there are oo many reasons that require me to be opposed to it.

As Stevenson says, “ the real question of capital punishment in this country is “ Do we deserve to kill? ” ” This is anothe sad book and it is indee an easy read.

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Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer for Equal Justice Initiative, casually describes some of the situations he ’ s been in and cases he ’ s represented.

Children, women, poor whites, and several others are also mixed up in th world of capitalist imprisonment.This isn ’ t thi book solely on the bygone errors of 50+ years ago, although some history certainly plays into it.

He doesn ’ t shy away from pointing out the blatant errors of our nation ’ s laws, but overall the book reads very calm.

I hink we probably all know that our criminal justice system is a oke, but until you begi reading about the individual people destroyed by it, it ’ s toug to believ how deep the problems run.The only slight negative I ’ ll say is that, structurally, it ’ s quit difficult to keep track of everyone.

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© Nicole Waggonner