Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption; Bryan Stevenson
Random House Audio - 2014
(read by author - excellent)
Just Mercy is an inspiring memoir about one man's quest to right the wrongs of a flawed justice system.
Bryan Stevenson grew up as a poor black child in Delaware. His great grandparents were slaves. Bryan was the first in his family to attend college, eventually graduating from Harvard Laws school. He was committed to helping the incarceration poor in both GA and AL and was co-founder of the Equal Justice Initiative.
His memoir covers many of the cases he worked on, which focused on poor minorities who were in prison for sometimes ridiculous reasons, like the woman who was in prison for stealing food to feed her children in AL. Deep seated racism seemed to be everywhere.
The focus story in this memoir involved a black man named Walter McMillan, whose affair with a white woman got him targeted as the person responsible for murdering another white woman in a laundromat. He was sentenced to death row and scheduled for execution. Stevenson was determined to free this unjustly accused man.
Listening to the author tell his story was an eye-opener. There was plenty in this memoir that made me angry about the racism that still exists in our country. This is such an important book. It was mind boggling to read that some 2,500 children in the US are serving sentences of life without parole in this great country of ours. Bryan Stevenson is to be admired: a lawyer with a heart who made a difference to many.
Be sure to read this one!
“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.”
"Simply punishing the broken only ensures they remain broken and we do too. Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done."