Just Mercy is a beautiful in-depth view at the racial inequities within the justice system in America. It also explores countless other topics such as sex, gender, class and ableism. Within it’s pages it exposes the truths of a wrongly accused man, Walter McMillian. Other examples lie within the text as well, but McMillian’s glaring innocents is the main crux of Stevenson’s story. Throughout the novel Stevenson looks at the many facets of the human condition.
When Bryan Stevenson visits Joe, the cages were so small that Joe’s wheelchair could barely fit through and guards tried to force it out so violently that he started to cry (216). This experience demonstrates that even after all the struggles Joe has gone through in his childhood and over a decade of prison, he continues to be incarcerated in a cruel manner. It also shows Stevenson’s effective use of ethos because if it weren’t for his profession, people would not understand and acknowledge what Joe experienced. After years of representing adolescents, Bryan Stevenson claims that “...those who grow up poor, or in environments marked by abuse, violence, dysfunction, neglect, and the absence of living caretakers are left vulnerable to the sort of extremely poor decision-making that results in tragic violence” (222). Stevenson’s claim incorporates all the forms of rhetoric to ultimately get readers to accept the truth about teens who were convicted and charged as adults or got injustice.
The author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, shares many moments of his career throughout his book. One devastating experience he faced was his grandfather’s murder. Throughout chapter 14 and other chapters of Just Mercy, Stevenson explains that the lives of these children committing these crimes and being put on death row couldn’t be looked at as their fault without it really being evaluated. The lives of these children before being put on death row, were abusive, not safe, and terrible parental supervision.
Within another case Stevenson says, “I decided to take on the case. We got Charlie’s case transferred to juvenile offense. That meant that Charlie wouldn’t be sent to an adult prison, and he would likely get out before he turned eighteen” (103), this may not seem like the biggest win to some, but this allowed for a child who had been thrown a lot to have a life away from what he had done as well as what happened to
“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
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.
1. Which social problems are treated in this book? Why did they develop? Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption focuses on many social problems, including the miscarriage of justice to the poor, disabled and minorities; along with the poor living conditions in prisons, and the cruel and unusual punishment. The miscarriage of justice developed throughout our country’s history.
Have you ever had an experience that altered or shifted your understanding of something? Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson examines the experience of Bryan as he fights cases for people on Death Row, including those who have been wrongly imprisoned and/or have a mental illness. Through his interaction with Henry, Marsha, and Jim, Bryan’s level of understanding redemption and hopefulness was altered. Through his interaction with Henry, Bryan’s understanding of redemption and hopefulness was altered.
There are many children in the world who are being put behind bars and detained for alleged wrongdoing without protections they are entitled to. Throughout the world, children are charged and sentenced for actions that should not be considered as adult crimes. Here in the United States, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is age 12. Law enforcement officials and those in the juvenile justice system nationwide tend to mistreat underage individuals by trying cases while working through the lens of an adult. Unfair punishments are still handed down domestically, which is in violation of Supreme Court law.
Another strategic technique used by Stevenson was logos, means to convince an audience by use of logic or reason. Towards the ending of the chapter, the author assimilated facts and statistics about the increase in the variety of crimes and harsh punishment. For example, hundreds of thousands of inoffensive offenders are having to spend from years to decades in prison for harmless crimes such as writing a bad check or minor property crime (Stevenson 15). These shocking facts make the reader think if these people should actually be imprisoned for minor crimes for such long periods of time. The audience also thinks about the difficulties the families of the people who are in prison have to go through without them.
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.
Not only does Berstein call for an overall reform of this nation’s juvenile prisons, she goes as far as saying the practice of locking up youth is in need of a “more profound than incremental and partial reform” (13). The fact that Bernstein outlines the numerous failed strategies and goals of this practice with her compelling use of studies and statistics is enough to promote an audience to reject the practice of locking up youth. The statistic she shares that “four out of five juvenile parolees [will be] back behind bars within three years of release” as well as the studies she conducted on numerous instances when a guards abuse of power lead to the death of a child work to further prove her point: being that “institution[s] as intrinsically destructive as the juvenile prison” have no place in a modern society (13, 83). Bernstein refutes this false sense effectiveness further by sharing her own ideas on what she believes works as a much more humane solution to rehabilitating
In Gail Garinger’s, “Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences,” she argues that juveniles have great potential in being able to change their lives for the better. Garinger starts off with the superpredator theory which involves kids who will commit crimes in groups, and in response, laws were made to easily try kids as adults in court. Even with the superpredator prediction never coming true, the laws that were made still exist. Garinger then moves on to describing how teens are different than adults in many different aspects. Garinger states, “As a former juvenile court judge, I have seen first hand the enormous capacity of children to change and turn themselves around” (Garinger par.
There are many phenomena that could cause or correlate with crime. In addition to this, there are many characteristics to these phenomena that cause/correlate with criminal behavior. Furthermore, these characteristics can be individual, sociological, or both that could have an effect on criminal behavior. This paper will take the educational avenue on crime.