I had heard several times over the past year that I would love Just Mercy. After I saw a movie was made about this book, I decided it was time to finally read it before I watched the movie. Ironically enough, there has been much talk about Just Mercy in the wake of recent events. I cried and cried reading this book, but in the best way. I have never thought that much about prison reformation or people being incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.
Fabulously written book, and I almost always feel like this but the book was 100x better than the movie… and the movie was pretty good. Give it a read today!
Rating: 5/5 stars. Not a question about it.
Summary: Bryan Stevenson attended Harvard Law, but after interning with the Southern Center for Human Rights one summer he decides to move to Alabama to defend those that cannot afford lawyers. Stevenson talks about many cases he’s faced over the years, but the main focus of this book is the conviction of Walter McMillian. Walter was wrongly convicted in the murder of an 18-year-old woman in Alabama. There is plenty of evidence showing where he was at the time of the crime, yet he is still convicted.
McMillian is sentenced to death by a judge. Then enters Stevenson. He works and works and works this case in hopes of convincing the nation of his innocence. This story is powerful, but so are the rest of the stories Stevenson tells. He talks about children being convicted of life in prison for crimes that were not violent crimes. He talks about women being convicted of murder after babies are stillborn. He brings you into his world and work, and it’s really heavy. A must read.
Favorite Quote: “There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.”
Where to Order: Amazon has plenty of copies for only $10. Click here to get a copy of your own today!
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ps, cover photo is not mine! photograph by Zach Fink