A question we need to ask ourselves and our judicial system is if we should be able to kill, and who deserves the power to make that decision? Throughout history in America, our judicial system has always used retributive justice as a way to condemn crime and give out punishment. Retributive justice is a system that focuses on punishing the offender rather than preventing and rehabilitating. This way of dealing with crime has only harmed the people involved and created more problems like poverty, and unjust cases, and makes it harder for convicts to live life in the future. The book ‘Just Mercy’ written by Bryan Stevenson covers these issues that thousands of Americans face, even today. His book addresses systemic racism, the cause for most …show more content…
It argues that the over-reliance on punitive measures, such as incarceration, has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities, particularly people of color. Stevenson writes, "We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, an entire nation" (p. 18). This quote illustrates how the US legal system has failed to provide meaningful justice for those who have been impacted by crime, and has instead perpetuated cycles of violence and trauma. Through advocacy for restorative justice, we are able to call for a deeper examination of the role that the legal system can play in repairing harm and promoting healing. Underlining the systemic issues within the US legal system, particularly the over-reliance on punitive measures and the disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. Promoting restorative justice calls for a shift in the legal system towards a more compassionate and just approach that prioritizes healing and repair. The criminal justice system has continuously overlooked the issues that it causes with the use of a retributive system in …show more content…
"Mass incarceration has become a kind of intractable social problem in America," he argues, "one that is disproportionately visited upon the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable" (p. 9). This phrase exemplifies how the American legal system has failed to offer meaningful justice for individuals harmed by crime, instead perpetuating cycles of violence and pain. Advocating for restorative justice plays in addressing these challenges by emphasizing systemic concerns within the US legal system. Restorative justice can be a significant instrument for decreasing judicial system harm and facilitating healing in marginalized communities. Furthermore, by emphasizing the importance of recognizing the humanity of all individuals impacted by the legal system and treating them with dignity and respect. The support for restorative justice stems from a strong commitment to social justice and the notion that the US judicial system must fundamentally change its approach to encourage healing and repair injustice. Focusing on mass imprisonment and punishment helps cause the pain and trouble that people involved in America’s justice system face every day due to the ignorant, constant system that is still
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Stevenson advocates for the power of mercy and compassion in the criminal justice system. He emphasizes that mercy does not mean ignoring or minimizing wrongdoing but recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, including those who have committed crimes. Stevenson calls for systemic change and reform within the criminal justice system. He highlights the need to address racial bias, poverty, inadequate legal representation, and the dehumanizing conditions of prisons. He advocates for policies that prioritize fairness, equality, and rehabilitation over punishment and
Bryan Stevenson examines the central concept of systemic racism and injustice in the American justice system, particularly toward people of color, in his book Just Mercy. Stevenson shows how racial bias and discrimination have resulted in the wrongful imprisonment and death sentences of many African American men, as well as the disproportionate representation of black people in the criminal justice system, through his experiences as a lawyer. Stevenson explores a number of themes throughout the book, including the need for systemic change in the criminal justice system, the power of hope and perseverance, and the significance of empathy and compassion in the fight against injustice. Through compelling narratives and personal anecdotes, he delves
Is each person defined by the worst thing that they have done? Can we as a society approve of hunting down and attacking the most vulnerable of people due to their vulnerability? Is it acceptable for the law to determine who deserves to die and who doesn’t? “Just Mercy” prompts its readers to explore these questions and many more. In this book, Bryan Stevenson, lawyer, social activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, documents his time as a young lawyer in Montgomery, Alabama working to save death row prisoners and those wrongfully accused and incarcerated.
In his book, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson delves into the disconcerting issues of the United States’ extremely corrupt legal system and widespread, heartrending mass incarceration and extreme punishment. Stevenson’s eloquent writing style and captivating stories draw in readers and opens eyes to the recondite, yet extremely important issues with the criminal justice system. The overarching theme of Stevenson’s book is that the current justice system fails time after time, and causes much unwarranted hardship for countless innocent people. Through cases of racial minorities, women, the mentally ill, juveniles and more, this book explains the epidemic of unjust mass incarceration in the United States.
Being forced into an airless prison without any room for your voice to be heard is a nightmare the Justice System holds over those who are unfairly represented. “Just Mercy,” a true story that showcases the ruthlessness of people in power who have wrecked the Justice System. Walter McMillan is part of an extensive percentage of innocent individuals who were convicted for crimes they never committed. The Justice System will give unbiased justice when people are given proper advocacy, corrupt officials are replaced and systematic disparities are eliminated. Justice without real advocacy for an individual does not demonstrate true equity the system says it does.
In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson retells powerful stories to highlight how minorities and juveniles within the criminal justice system are often unheard. Stevenson addresses Walter McMilliam’s case to prove that he was ignored by the police and others because he was an African American accused for interracial romance with a white women and murder. During the 1800’s, racial discrimination was extremely harsh onto black people which led their community to be targeted by the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system incarcerates African Americans but no other races which proves that they’re avoiding their safety and rights.
According to The University of Michigan's law education, African Americans are seven times more likely than white Americans to be falsely convicted of serious crimes due to their race (law.umich.edu). Bryan Stevenson who is a human rights lawyer and author wrote the memoir by the name of Just Mercy. This piece focuses on the idea that the criminal justice system is discriminatory. In this memoir, he defends and fights for citizens to protect their rights as a person. Bryan Stevenson beautifully utilizes strong word choice, repetition, and emotional appeal to emphasize and persuade the readers that the efforts to fight institutional cruelty and raise the most vulnerable to a “higher ground” is what matters most.
In Just Mercy, author Bryan Stevenson recounts his time as a lawyer in Alabama during a time when the reality of racism in America was being seen for what it truly is; unjust and unfair. One of the connections Stevenson draws is that of slavery and the ties it has to today’s criminal justice system. In a study by the National Academic Press, it was estimated that in 1972, 161 U.S. residents were incarcerated in prisons/jails per 100,000 population; by 2007, that rate had more than quintupled to a peak of 767 per 100,000 (Jeremy Travis, 2014, p.33). In 2014, when Stevenson’s memoir was published, the number of those incarcerated estimated around 1.56 million— 58 percent of those identified as either Latino or Black (Carson, 2014).
He argues that it is not enough simply to be aware of the problems within the justice system; we must also be willing to take action to address them. This can involve advocating for change within the system, supporting organizations that work to promote justice and equality, and simply being willing to stand up and speak out against injustice when we encounter it. This emphasis on individual
The Center for Justice, directed by Jeffery Robinson, is focused on the problems in the U.S. criminal justice system, including the treatment of prisoners, the death penalty and the policies of over-incarceration that have led the United States to imprison more people than any other country in the world. The Center for Justice includes the National Prison Project, the Criminal Law Reform Project and the Capital Punishment
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Today our justice system has a multitude of options when dealing with those who are convicted of offenses. However, many argue that retributive justice is the only real justice there is. This is mainly because its advantage is that it gives criminals the appropriate punishment that they deserve. The goals of this approach are clear and direct. In his book The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Zehr Howard (2002), illustrates that the central focus of retributive justice is offenders getting what they deserve (p. 30).
Racism has redesigned itself to adapt to our society today– it’s known as mass incarceration. Bryan Stevenson, a Southern lawyer for underprivileged people who were harshly sentenced or wrongfully condemned, takes us on his personal, extensive journey through the cruel criminal justice system. Over the course of Just Mercy, he gives historical context, statistics and personal anecdotes to shed light on the huge issue of mass incarceration and its brutal effects. Stevenson’s overall argument is that the criminal justice system’s use of harsh punishment perpetuates violence instead of discouraging it. Instead, we should use mercy and empathy to rehabilitate these individuals because it is “strong enough to break the cycle” of suffering and cruelty.