Analysis Of Just Mercy By Bryan Stevenson

1046 Words5 Pages
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).
In an overarching summary, Stevenson begins with the story of Walter McMillan, a young black man who is put on trial for murdering an 18-year old white woman named Ronda Morrison. The chapters often alternates between narrating McMillan’s trial and his journey towards justice. Stories of other wrongfully persecuted individuals are recounted as well, with one case being that of a 14-year old boy named Charlie who was sentenced to life in prison for killing his mother’s abusive boyfriend. These two cases will be further discussed later.
To begin, the first chapter, titled Mockingbird Players, starts with Stevenson, who had already been an established member of the bar (American Bar Association), in both Georgia and Alabama. By this time he had been
Open Document