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BRYAN STEVENSON is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, a private, nonprofit human rights organization, helping the poor, the incarcerated, the condemned, and children, he is also professor of law at New York University School of Law and received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.
In his provocative book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” Stevenson declares that without equal justice in our country, we cannot have equality. The book opens when Stevenson agrees to take on the case of Walter McMillan a black man on death row 15 months before his case goes to trial. Strike one for equal justice. Stevenson is contacted by the judge and told not to take the case. Strike two.
Strike three is when Stevenson scratches the surface of evidence and finds overwhelming evidence of Walter’s innocence, including dozens of witness who were with Walter 11 miles away from the crime scene at the time of the murder.
Stevenson’s work on other cases involving death row sentences—often given to innocent people or children tried as adults—are interspersed in the longer narrative of Walter McMillan’s abhorrent treatment, in Monroeville, Alabama where Atticus Finch graces the town square, by a system that presumes innocence.
With prison populations at unprecedented levels and dozens of inmates falsely accused on death row, this timely book has the driving narrative of a Michael Connelly crime novel. And like Connelly's books, "Just Mercy" will change the way you read the headlines and see the world.
Sarah's review first appeared on 89.1 KMUW.
— Sarah Bagby
November 2014 Indie Next List
“The history of incarceration in America is deeply colored by our history of racism and poverty. Stevenson's work providing legal aid to death row inmates exposes truly inhumane, unjust practices and astonishing legal carelessness often fueled by outright prejudice. Just Mercy does not stop at reportage, but examines the costs to the individual, the family, the community, and society at large of these practices. This is a powerful book about one man's efforts to address injustice and a clarion call for reform not just for those imprisoned, but for a society that has lost its way.”
— Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA
Bryan Stevenson's incredible fight to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality comes to life in this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller that was adapted into a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson.
In this very personal work--adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so"--renowned lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom as the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative.
Stevenson's story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society--the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.
A portion of the proceeds of this book will go to charity to help in Stevenson's important work to benefit the voiceless and the vulnerable as they attempt to navigate the broken U.S. justice system.
A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A BOOKLIST EDITORS' CHOICE FEATURED ON CBS THIS MORNING A NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
PRAISE FOR JUST MERCY: A TRUE STORY OF THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE: "It's really exciting that young people are getting a version tailored for them." --Salon
"A deeply moving collage of true stories. . . . This is required reading." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Compassionate and compelling, Stevenson's narrative is also unforgettable." --Booklist, starred review
PRAISE FOR JUST MERCY: A STORY OF JUSTICE AND REDEMPTION: "Gripping. . . . What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." --DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
"Important and compelling." --Pulitzer Prize-winning author TRACY KIDDER
"Inspiring and powerful." --#1 New York Times bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM
About the Author
Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Since graduating from Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, he has secured relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued several times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has won numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant. He lives in Alabama.