In Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, he writes to illustrate the injustices of the judicial system to its readers. To do so, Stevenson utilizes multiple writing styles that provide variety and helps keep the reader engaged in the topic. Such methods of his include the use of anecdotes from his personal experiences, statistics, and specific facts that apply to cases Stevenson had worked on as well as specific facts that pertain to particular states. The most prominent writing tool that Stevenson included in Just Mercy is the incorporation of anecdotes from cases that he himself had worked on as a nonprofit lawyer defending those who were unrightfully sentenced to die in prison.
Even before Bryan Stevenson started representing people on death row, he was opposed to capital punishment. To him, the act of killing someone who is found guilty of murder only to demonstrate that killing is wrong, does not make logical sense. He believes that the death penalty is a punishment rooted in hopelessness and anger. It’s because of his moral and religious background that he believes no one is just a crime, we are more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. According to Stevenson, capital punishment in America is a lottery. It is interesting to me that Stevenson states that capital punishment is shaped by the constraints of poverty, race, geography, and local politics. It seems as if these constraints are the very reason America debates the death penalty today. Stevenson also states that the death penalty in the United States has increasingly comes to symbolize a disturbing tolerance for error and injustice.
There are many victims of unfortunate circumstances in the world today, yet some of these results could have been easily avoided. In the novel, Just Mercy, the author Bryan Stevenson addresses many cases in which children under the age of 18 are incarcerated within the adult criminal justice system. By treating children as adults in the criminal justice system their innocence and undeveloped person, become criminalized. These children become dehumanized and only viewed as full-fledged criminals and as a result society offers no chance sympathy towards them. Stevenson argues that children tried as adults have become damaged and traumatized by this system of injustice.
Annotated Bibliography Draft Student name : Haider Zafaryab Student number: 2360526 Thesis Statement : Capital Punishment is a very controversial topic around the globe. I believe that it does more harm than good and breeds violence in society. Source 1: Radelet, M. L., & Akers, R. L. (1996).
Bryan Stevenson knew the perils of injustice and inequality just as well as his clients on death row. He grew up in a poor, racially segregated area in Delaware and his great-grandparents had been slaves. While he was a law student, he had interned working for clients on death row. He realized that some people were treated unfairly in the judicial system and created the Equal Justice Institute where he began to take on prisoners sentenced to death as clients since many death row prisoners had no legal representation of any kind. In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson focuses on some of these true stories of injustice, mainly the case of his client, Walter McMillian.
Forty years have gone by and I think it’s finally time we acknowledge the inconvenient truth; Capital punishment is not a fair means of punishment and disproportionately affects minorities. In the landmark Supreme Court case McCleskey v. Kemp, a study conducted by David Baldus, a late Iowa Law Professor, concluded that black defendants indicted for murder were convicted nearly twice as much as white defendants and black defendants who killed white people received the death penalty four times more often than black defendants who killed other black people. This argument was a highlight of the case, but did not stop the Supreme Court from ignoring the statistics regarding racial bias in capital punishment cases. A vote of 5-4 ruled that tendencies
“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 (Stevenson 109) .” This bold statement is one of many as Bryan Stevenson sets the tone for his renowned award winning novel Just Mercy. As a young lawyer from Georgia, built the foundation for his company, SPDC (Southern Prisoners Defense Committee) to help convicts that are on death row or in need a second chance. Bryan Stevenson, a young lawyer from Georgia who fought for justice on the behalf of inmates on death row, showed tremendous intelligence in becoming a successful lawyer, demanding for not backing down in moments of refusal, and was an overall advocate
Death Penalty is a very ominous punishment to discuss. It is probably the most controversial and feared form of punishment in the United States. Many are unaware, but 31 of the 52 states have the Death penalty passes as an acceptable punishment. In the following essay, I will agree and support Stephen Nathanson's statement that "Equality retributivism cannot justify the death penalty." In the reading, "An Eye for an Eye?", Nathanson gives objections to why equality retributivism is morally acceptable for the death penalty to be legal. The first objection is that the death penalty does not "provide a measure of moral desert" (Nathanson). For the second, Nathanson states "it does not provide an adequate criterion for determining appropriate levels of punishment." The main objection is an "eye for an eye", or Lex talionis, and I believe it fails to support equality retributivism and creates punishments that are morally unacceptable. There is no way that
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.
Annotated Bibliography Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press. Alexander opens up on the history of the criminal justice system, disciplinary crime policy and race in the U.S. detailing the ways in which crime policy and mass incarceration have worked together to continue the reduction and defeat of black Americans.
First, Nathanson’s argument is based in majority upon statistics and therefore I must invoke the question of whether correlation equates to causation or not. The fact that statistically more blacks or murderers of whites receive the death penalty must be observed more closely as there could be many reasons attributing to sentencing to death. Many of the statistics presented do not accurately represent the cause of the correlation. Second, I present the argument that even if there was truth behind a relationship between discrimination and death penalties, the problem lies with those who are handing out these sentences rather than the idea of a death penalty. The problem can be solved by establishing more set guidelines on who receives the death sentence by making the death penalty more like a civil law practice rather than our form of common law where precedence decides the ruling.
In her book, The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander who was a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, reveals many of America’s harsh truths regarding race within the criminal justice system. Though the Jim Crow laws have long been abolished, a new form has surfaced, a contemporary system of racial control through mass incarceration. In this book, mass incarceration not only refers to the criminal justice system, but also a bigger picture, which controls criminals both in and out of prison through laws, rules, policies and customs. The New Jim Crow that Alexander speaks of has redesigned the racial caste system, by putting millions of mainly blacks, as well as Hispanics and some whites, behind bars
Fast forward to the present day, we have the Ferguson, Mike Brown of Emmitt Till’s still occurring in our justice system. A person must view the criminal justice threw a godly telescope to see the inequalities that exit, and need to come to the forefront of our government, and the population worldwide. Sentencingproject.org statistically show that African American men, women, and juvenile are arrested more often than any other races across the nations. This report will prove, and argues that racial disparity in the justice system is at large in our system. This research paper will further explain, and presents evidence that display the presence of racial bias in the criminal justice system in America.
Alexander argues that the practice of racial injustice and segregation is due to the existence of mass incarceration. She goes into great detail in her writing, explaining why she believes mass incarceration is the issue and how history show us that America will always find a way to separate racial communities. This book would serve as an excellent reference to anyone studying racial injustice, mass incarceration, plea bargain coercion, racial history in America, and more. The beauty of this book is not only Alexander’s fact finding revelations, is the fact that she isn’t saying anything unheard of or anything that has not been realized by member of poor black communities, she simply found a way to articulate the issue in a way the demanded consideration from readers in and outside the communities being discussed. Alexander finds a way to expose the true nature of the criminal justice system using the people’s voice and research.
As demonstrated in Trends in U.S. corrections, the U.S. has had the highest rates of incarceration as of 2011 adding up to more than seventy hundred thousand(The Sentencing Project 3). Race and class play an important role on who is punished for such crimes as well as who gets