Poverty and The Justice System An author by the name of Bryan Stevenson wrote the book Just Mercy. Throughout the book he discussed various points about the United States justice system and the wrongfully convicted crimes that occurred. The stories that the author told indicated that “ The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice”(18). Wealth is an abundance of valuable possessions or money. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor. Poverty affects the justice system because it divides the people of society into different social classes. People in poverty receive the most harmful sentences from our justice system. The people in charge of the justice system think less of a person because they do not have much. …show more content…
When a person of poverty is arrested, they more than likely do not have a lawyer so they have one appointed to them. As stated in the book, “Joe’s appointed appellate counsel filed an Ander’s brief- indicating his belief that there were no legitimate grounds for appeal and no credible basis to complain about the conviction or sentence- and was permitted to withdraw from representing Joe”(Stevenson 259). Joe was one who did not have the same equal opportunities as the wealthy people, therefore his appointed lawyer was withdrawn from representing him which is not fair. The judge sentenced him anyway. There was no sympathy from the justice system. Every defendant has the right to legal representation but they can choose when they want to stop representing a …show more content…
He tried his best to eliminate integration and racial discrimination in any shape or form, but since the United States is so corrupted it is very hard to get everyone to realize. Stevenson stated “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned. We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated”(84). When someone allows a person of poverty to be mistreated they create a bad outlook on themselves. The world is full of injustice and inequality just because of a person’s wealth. The justice system bases the punishment of a person off the status of their race and
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As though it is not a fundamental right to have an appointed counsel to those who cannot afford one, Betts v. Brady did bring up rather valid points. The Court goes back to the foundation of our “adversary system.” It claims that a person whom has no funds to obtain an attorney is more likely to have an unjust trial. The court states that much money is used to charge or “accuse” defendants of crimes they may or may not have committed. Prosecutors which are lawyers of the government are to be looked at as a necessity to keep public order.
The book “Simple Justice” that was written by Richard Kluger is one of the examples of the successful use of narrative with the scholar style of writing that is telling readers the story behind Brown v. Board of Education. It is needed to state that the book was firstly published in 1976 and at that period it was one of the most precise and detailed descriptions of the decision-making process of the Supreme Court in Brown. That is why, the work of Richard Kluger is so unique, he was able to tell readers the detailed story of the court and that was helpful in the learning of the history as well as in the understanding of the justice system. It is needed to state the fact that in the book Richard Kluger is pointing out on the fact of schools desegregation. He critiques the politics of the government that allowed the school
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, is a powerful book that provides you with another perspective of racial injustice. This book features injustices done to young people and innocent people. Some kids as young as middle schoolers have been put behind bars for their entire lives. Being a caucasian male, I have never been the victim of racial and sexual abuse. Learning about our justice system made me sorrowful and outraged.
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.
The history of the modern right to counsel for defendants who cannot afford to pay for counsel or lawyer goes back over a century ago; the Indiana Supreme Court in Webb v. Baird, 6 Ind. 13 (1853), officially recognized the right to counsel for a person accused of a crime. However, this decision was not based on constitutional or statutory law but warranted under “the principles of a civilized society.” Since the case of Webb v. Baird, the courts have immensely extended the right to counsel beyond just appointing an indigent person an attorney. For more than a hundred years, the Right to Counsel Clause was interpreted as simply granting the right to retain a private attorney to a defendant but didn’t mean that a poor criminal defendant had
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.
A new land where anyone would have the opportunity to become successful; that was the American dream. But it didn’t turn out that way, yes few people did but most of us didn’t. We live in a country where super rich people are leaving the rest of us behind. This is called income inequality; it has been uneven since 1970 and the gap between rich and poor has increased, making it unfair for people who didn’t have the same opportunity, and morally, economically and politically wrong.
The United States prides itself on being a country of opportunities where the underprivileged can rise up and everyone is treated equally, but is that really the case? In reality the income of an individual gives them advantages of going above the system. The sociological explanation of the influence of the wealthy over the criminal justice system is described in the of the Pyrrhic defeat theory written in Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton book The Rich Get Richer and the Poor get Prison Ideology, class and Criminal Justice. The Pyrrhic defeat theory emphasizes the failure of the criminal justice is the consequence of success for those in power, who are taking advantage of the system.
I believe the purpose of “Just Mercy” is to show the reader that the legal system can make mistakes that can lead to the wrongful convictions of innocent people and to encourage people to change that. Stevenson works on cases with great dedication and a clear goal in mind; to show these people who have lost hope in clearing their names mercy. The way Stevenson dedicates countless hours to helping those in need is inspirational and compelling. Stevenson uses vivid and heartwrenching examples of what happens to inmates on death row right before execution. This makes you want to anything possible to help.
Poverty is a crippling situation which can stagnate the development of individuals. Insufficiency in a society can affect persons in more ways than one. Those experiencing a substandard way of living may not be able to obtain quality education which can cause a lack of sufficient employment. Lower paying jobs will more than likely not include quality health insurance for the employee.
Poverty is affecting billions of people around our world and the number is growing with each day. Many people think they can avoid the effects of poverty, but it is something that affects all of our daily lives. Many people see poverty as a person who lacks money, although this is true poverty is caused by many more things than being without money. Just the fact that one in two children live in poverty can help people see clearly the impact it has on our world. Poverty truly does influence the type of care and treatment a person will receive when they need it.
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.
This article explores the rise of marginalization of legal aid lawyers due to the factors of ideological, task, status, and material marginality and how poverty lawyers search for ways to cope with such marginalized situation. The authors claim that there are different types, mechanisms, and consequences of being poverty lawyers and those factors can be seen as “the routinization of legal aid”, high level of personal interaction, low compensation rate, being seen as less qualified professionally by the private firm and corporate lawyers, socio-political environment, and restriction on class action lawsuits. To support their claims, the authors make use of the replication as a methodology technique to understand the how certain changes in the
Poverty is one of the most horrific epidemics in our society today. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor. It is a very serious problem that many people suffer from today. Many issues such as illness, hunger, and bad sanitation are all causes of poverty. Statistics show that there are over 35 million Americans that live in poverty.
Poverty is defined as the state of being unable to fulfill basic needs of human beings. Poverty is the lack of resources leading to physical deprivation. Poor people are unable to fulfill basic survival needs such as food, clothing, shelter. These are the needs of lowest order and assume top priority. Poor people are unknown of their lack of voice, power, and rights, which leads them to exploitation.