Bryan Stevenson’s bestseller, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, is a study of the malfeasance and inhumanity that blights America’s criminal justice system and an attempt to shed light on prison conditions, mass incarceration, racial bias and excessive punishment (Stevenson 293). After Jimmy Dill’s death, a man wrongfully sentenced to death and executed, Stevenson articulates his feelings, and finds comfort even after his perceived failure: ‘I understood that even as we are caught in a web of hurt and brokenness, we’re also in a web of healing and mercy.’ (Stevenson 294) Just as hurt and healing are a concatenation, mercy, and brokenness are linked together.
Throughout the book Just Mercy, there are several unjust circumstances, such as imprisonment due to lack or wealth or mental illnesses, which occur within the judicial system that Mr. Stevenson discusses with the reader. The author uses several devices to display the behaviors that occur within the novel, and these devices genuinely help the reader see through Mr. Stevenson's point of view. Bryan leads his audience through the several predicaments he encounters and displays the true faults of the judicial system itself. He walks us through the struggles of individuals such as Trina Garnett, Walter McMillian, and many more. Bryan Stevenson displays the injustices of the judicial system, such as racial bias and child imprisonment without parole,
In the book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, the author is a lawyer and founder of the Equal Injustice Initiative who helps and defends those that are in desperate needs. Stevenson tells different stories of different cases that he had through the course of his professional career. One of the most heartbreaking stories that Stevenson shares on his books is about a boy named Charlie. Charlie is a fourteen years old who murdered his stepfather because he was abusive with his mom and left her unconscious on the floor. Charlie was sentenced to an adult prison because his stepfather was an ex-police officer. When Steven heard about Charlie’s case he ran to the prison to go see him and the first thing that Charlie tells Stevenson is how every night he would get sexually abused in prison by so many men ,and how they would do really awful things to him. “Florida is one of a few states that allows the prosecutor to decide to charge a child in adult court for certain crimes and has no minimum age for trying a child as an adult.”(Stevenson). Charlie’s case is not an unusual one. There are hundreds of prisoners currently in US prisons who are suffering ridiculous prison sentences while other prisoners with more violent, heinous, and terrible crimes have been sentenced to lesser time in jail or are already out. In order to understand why this is still a problem, it’s important to first understand the current issues facing prisons today and what effects come from these issues. Then
America is supposed to be the land of the free, but in reality does America give freedom to all? Not if your poor, black, or disabled. In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, who is a lawyer, writes about the harsh realities of the justice system in the United States. He illustrates his encounter with several prisoners, who were wrongly defended based off of race, disability, and class. The main story follows an innocent man put on death row, Walter McMillian.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the most sweeping and has likely impacted the general jurisprudence of the Supreme Court the most of any other amendment. This is because, where all other right-protecting amendments protect something specific, the fourteenth amendment was designed to ensure that states guaranteed due process rights, applied the law equally, and protected the “privileges [and] immunities of citizens of the United States.”
Many are put onto death row without actually having a fighting chance to plead their case, provide the full story, and prove their innocence. Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer who fights for those who have been left for dead and aren’t given a second chance. Bryan Stevenson is a social justice activist, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a clinical professor at New York University School of Law. He founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989. Stevenson has fought long and hard for those whose voices have been silenced because of their ethnicity and background. His views have been strongly influenced by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the faithful attendees of the church had celebrated for 'standing up after having fallen down, ' showing Bryan that no matter how many times you are knocked down, you can always pick yourself back up and there will always be someone there to lend you a helping hand. Making Bryan want to be that helping hand, to be the on there when someone had no one else to turn to. These experiences informed his belief that "each person in our society is more than the worst thing they’ve ever done.” When Stevenson was sixteen, his grandfather, Clarence L. Golden, was stabbed to death in his Philadelphia home during a robbery.Bryan stevenson has dedicated himself to fighting poverty and challenging
“Just Mercy” was written to enlighten society of the corruption in a system that is meant to bring justice. Sadly, it isn’t applied to many cases. The idea behind our legal justice system sounds great on paper, but the way it is executed is sometimes lacking. Every day people are sentenced without solid evidence because of the color of their skin, social status, age, or even mental capabilities. These people barely received legal aid or representation in court. But while some people may be found wrongly guilty, others may be found wrongly innocent. People are found innocent without solid evidence because of the color of their skin, social status, age, or even mental capabilities. Many of these injustices lead back to racism. The author of
This insinuates that the court system prioritizes getting through cases as quickly as possible to give the community a sense of reassurance that a criminal is off the streets. Poor people accused of crimes typically cannot afford a lawyer who will put their time and effort into proving their innocence, which results in them not receiving the justice they deserve. A
Fourteenth Amendment (Equal Protection Clause): For one to file an equal protection claim, one has to prove that the “government intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff by classifying him or her for different treatment under the law than one similarly situated.” For the equal protection clause to be violated, a government has to group individuals in such a way that denies them certain rights or provides different treatment on the basis of traits they have no control over.
Bryan Stevenson, the author of Just Mercy, has many themes in his book. One of which is the importance of human life. He goes through many cases of which, in the end, he realizes that every human deserves empathy and mercy and a fair chance at living their lives. Throughout the novel there is one specific case that changes Stevenson’s perspective the most however. This case is the Walter McMillian case that demonstrates the unfairness that was tolerated for death row inmates. Stevenson expresses this theme throughout the book. Some examples are through the McMillian case, the mental patient case, the juvenile case, and his own experience.
Jimmy Santiago Baca is a winner of the International Prize for his work in, A Place to Stand. The making of a poet. He writes, “I had no money. There is no way I’m going to make bail” (Baca, 187). In some cases, prisoners are only locked up because they had to get appointed a defense attorney who convinced them to plead to the charges so they would not have to go to trial and risk getting an extended amount of time. District attorneys are elected by the citizens and those people want someone who is tough on crime. If the district attorney is not tough on crime, the people will not reelect him. This can lead to many innocent lives being wasted; For instance, some criminals will sit in a cell for decades for the smallest offense. However, if a prisoner attempts to plead not guilty and the case goes to a trial by jury and they do find him or her guilty, they will be sentenced to an even longer term. It is obvious that our justice system is unfair and against human morals and ethics. They are somehow “innocent until proven guilty” yet they cannot afford to prove themselves innocent. Not only is poverty a reason for the rising increase in the population of inmates, many lack the education needed to understand the law or what they are being accused of.
Just mercy is a powerful novel Written by Bryan Stevenson in the book he put us in a different world. while he depicts the social injustices he experiences while he defended an innocent man. Walter whom was set up for a murder of a women named Ronda even with multiple witnesses he is still convicted. Which made this be my topic of interest during the time that I was reading Just Mercy. Because In this society we have a race based institution where they can directly say a African American is guilty without fair trial. in the which mean that African Americans are “Guilty until proven innocent”. which is the opposite when it come to the opposite races.
Looking at the cover of the book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redempt, written by Bryan Stevenson, one could not understand what would be thrown at them after opening the crisp pages. Breaking the title of the book down, we know what ‘mercy’ is defined as the feeling toward offenders through a person with the ability to oversee justice within our system. Furthermore, the two words ‘just mercy’ is implied that our officials that are administering the justice within our system go about it in a conscionable way. Stevenson’s starts off with an autobiographical introduction that sets forth how the context will be delivered to the readers. From the start, Stevenson explains how he got into the profession of defense law.
“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. The theory Bryan Stevenson has applied to the justice system is extremely useful since it sheds insight on the difficult problem of poverty and racism towards many African Americans. The justice system focuses on the people with more power. The more power you have, they more advantages you get to get away with. The Ewells may not have any social power but since their white, it gives them more capability over others. Considering racism and poverty have become a monumental issue, the chances of someone believing a black person is diminishingly low.
In "We need to talk about an injustice" Brian Stevenson argued about how the justice system in America isn't good. He gave this example, one in every nine people who have been on death row are found innocent This shocked me because we never know when we are killing an innocent man because it's more than 10 percent likely for it to be true. One of the main points Brian wanted to give across his speech was that there is power in the identity we have. We get some of our identity by not how we treat the rich but how we treat the poor. Another thing he talked in his speech was about children in prison. We are the only country in the world that would put a 13 year old that would be sentenced life in prison. Another thing he talked about was the unequal