Just Mercy By Bryan Stevenson: Summary

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In the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, who is an attorney, guides us through his life in Alabama and how he helps defend innocent, poor people and children on death row who were wrongly convicted. Nearly 44,000 youth are incarcerated in juvenile justice facilities. Currently an estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. While some may argue that young adult offenders should be tried and punished as adults to ensure that their actions do not reoccur, the United States Justice Systems should implement rehabilitation and less harsh punishments for younger offenders to fully develop and mature. Young adults under 18 should not be tried as adults because their brains are not …show more content…

Juveniles that go through the rehabilitation process will be able to have a clean record after they reach 18, whereas the exact opposite if they went through the adult justice system. Stevenson feels that, “We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken.” (289) This quote represents the treatment towards juveniles in prison and how the potential of these children is wasted. The goal of rehabilitation is to help the youth understand the consequences of their actions and learn how to make better choices in the …show more content…

Some might agree that, “The juvenile justice system is failing to protect citizens from the surge in violent crimes committed by juveniles. What is needed is a system that protects society from violent juvenile offenders, and efficiently rehabilitates juveniles." (G Garcett) The threat of this harsher punishment will result in lowered juvenile crime rates. Juveniles should be convicted as adults for violent crimes because it is not fair for juveniles to commit big crimes and get away with it so easily. While charging young offenders as adults could potentially protect people on the outside, children who are housed in the same facility as adults is not a good idea nor a good mix. “I watched Joe, who laughed like a little boy, but I saw the lines in his face and even the emergence of a few prematurely gray hairs on his head. I realized even while I laughed, that his unhappy childhood had been followed by unhappy, imprisoned teenage years followed by unhappy incarceration through young adulthood. All of the sudden, it occurred to me what a miracle it was that he could still laugh.” (Stevenson 217-224) Children in adult prisons are prone to rape, suicide and assault than in juvenile detention centers according to studies on juvenile suicide in adult institutions and youth facilities in the 1980s. Although teens make poor decisions, they

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