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.
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.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. By Bryan Stevenson. Spiegel & Grau, 2015. Pp. 368.
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.
In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson concludes “the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice,” and by this he means that when there is no justice, most people will live in poverty, despair, and fear. Despair is the complete loss of all hope, and each of these characters felt that feeling. Bryan Stevenson was stopped and searched by the police, and he was full of fear because one officer had pulled a gun on him. Fear, Police rely on fear to break the law and do as they wish, because they know a majority of people are scared to go against the police. In chapter 3, Walter McMillian was in jail awaiting his trial and eventual execution, this alone drove him into a pit of despair. Walter didn 't get justice, and in prison
In Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” there is an underlying sense of hope that is seen in spurts through the constant stories of injustice and unfairness that take place. Throughout the book there are multiple people that are wrongly condemned and have to suffer on the dreaded death row. All of the inmates of the row know they will eventually be executed, but only a select few stay positive and give the reader a sense of hope in such a negative situation. Mr. Jenkins is one of those men. The mentally ill man was in and out of foster care as a child, and his terrible experiences lead to more serious brain damage. The trauma lead to him stabbing a man without even knowing it, which brought him to the death row. Not only does he have to deal with
The New York Times Bestseller book, Just Mercy, entails true accounts of a young African- American lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, about the unjust criminal justice system of the United States. Stevenson embarks on sharing his first- hand encounters of racial prejudice and corruption against death row inmates and himself. Thus, giving vivid images of how race and social class can play a big part in the fates of people in America. After reading Just Mercy, it has given me a validation of what I’ve already known about the justice system against African-Americans especially in the South, with prior knowledge of accounts about black Americans and the deep bigotry against them. In which, my race plays an immense part of cruelly punishing black Americans without further consideration of the circumstances that led to the crime
Working closely with people placed on death row, incarcerated children and many others; Bryan Stevenson is able to provide some clarity as to how unjust the criminal justice system truly is. Mr. Stevenson graduated from Harvard University Law School and is currently a Professor of Law at the New York University of Law. He is the founder and Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, with the help of his team he has been able to successfully “relief or release over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row.” As well as establishing “life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are constitutional” through various cases handled by the United States Supreme Court. The cruelest of acts are those committed under the false
Compassion and forgiveness is not something everyone gives but is something you should give to everyone. Even when they don’t deserve it. Compassion and forgiveness is a theme in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee when Atticus tells Scout not to be angry at the people who are against him, when he defends Bob Ewell’s behavior after the Tom Robinson case, and when Scout saw the world in Boo Radley’s shoes. And in real life, when a woman pardoned a man on the gallows, before he was hung, even though he murdered her son, and a woman forgave two boys that pushed a cart over a railing onto her, causing many injuries
Just Mercy written by Bryan Stevenson, he had a decade long career as a legal advocate for marginalizing people who have been either falsely convicted or harshly sentenced. Even though the book contains profiles of many different people, the central storyline that the relationship has between Stevenson, the organization he founded and Walter McMillian, a black man that was wrongfully accused of murder and was sentenced to death in Alabama in the late 1980’s. In the book, Stevenson provides a historical context, as well as his own moral and philosophical reflections on the American criminal justice and prison systems. Ultimately he argues that the society should choose empathy and mercy over the condemnation and punishment.
Bryan Stevenson wrote the book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, in his novel he discusses multiple cases that influenced him into creating what we now know as The Equal Justice Initiative it is a group that has helped create a void in unfair sentencing. Bryan was born in Delaware in 1959, he grew up in a poor neighborhood where he witnessed a division in both social and economic class. The division of classes lead to the start of Stevenson’s journey to inform and make members of the community aware of injustices in our country. There are multiple career paths that he could have chosen that benefited his desire to bring about awareness. Ultimately, he decided on a career path he believed would have the greatest impact, pursuing a law degree. Bryan Stevenson is heavily involved in the organization he founded, the Equal Justice Initiative, his work has,
In Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy, he writes “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” (17). I believe the quote is a way to encourage us to seek self-redemption and to not define a person by his faults. In our society today, people are easily
Imagine living in a place where one small sin could define who you are for the rest of your life. That is what happened in The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The novel is set in a seventeenth-century Puritan community in Boston, Massachusetts. A young woman by the name of Hester Prynne commits a small act of adultery and is shamed for the rest of her life, by wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her breast. The book is centered around the theme of justice and judgement. According to Gloria Steinem, “Law and justice are not always the same”. This quote means that following the law may not always mean justice is being served. Laws are rules and guidelines that are set up to govern behavior. Laws set out standards, procedures
Chapter seven dealt extensively with race and racial prejudice, issues that most people would like to see eradicated, but some still believe to be ever present. Souryal’s literature, which deals with real life situations as well as theory behind it, presents some interesting but unfortunate cases where people are mistreated or biased against for nothing more than their race. Racial prejudice is wrong and shouldn’t have any bearing on the justice system, but unfortunately—due to things like racial profiling—there are still cases where a precedent is set and police act, either consciously or unconsciously, against minorities instead of criminals. Strange concepts, such as justifiable inequality, were explained—this, in particular, was a concept I knew nothing about before reading Souryal’s chapter on it. The chapter also went into great depth about serious issues like discrimination and stereotyping, especially how stereotypes about minorities, which are perpetrated by a very small percentage of them, lead to police misconduct and police stereotypes that hurt many upstanding citizens who are black or Latino.
Apart from impairment disability is imposed on top because of unnecessary social exclusions and isolations from complete participation in societal roles. (UPIAS 1976p 3–4) The social model was consequently adopted by Disabled People’s International (Siminski 2003). In this model disability is viewed as socially experiencing an impairment due to social and physical barriers(Barnes 1991 p 2)whereas impairment refers to perceived abnormalities of mind or body be it ascribed or real(Barnes 2003 p 829) Therefore, disability refers something wrong with society and not to something with an individual rather (Oliver 1996a p 129).The model implies to cure, change or fix the individuals, especially when it is discriminatory and prejudiced and against the wishes of the disabled person. The problem or disability is caused by the way society responds to the needs of the disabled person. It recognizes that people with impairments are disabled by the barriers, prejudice and exclusion by society. Thus all the things that impose restrictions on disabled people ranging from individual prejudice to institutional discrimination, from inaccessible public buildings to unusable transport systems, from segregated education to excluding work arrangements, and so on’ (Oliver 1996a p 33). Thus, changes in social attitudes, social support, information, physical structures is required because