Review Of Bryan Stevenson's Novel 'Just Mercy'

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Will Schwartz Politics and Ethics 10.20.17 The Right To Kill Whether one agrees or disagrees with the idea that a government has the ability to punish their citizens with death, it is hard to argue that our judiciary system is capable of wielding such power. The flaws that unarguably plague the US justice system make it impossible for our government to fairly distribute and regulate death as a form of punishment. Within the novel Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson outlines his time fighting for the rights of accused individuals inside and outside death row; as well as fighting against those who abuse power granted to them by the justice system. In his novel, Stevenson references Alabama judge’s ability to overrule a jury’s decision to sentence…show more content…
With guns drawn and threats that they would “blow his head off”, the officers unjustly searched his car and held him at gunpoint. Stevenson explains his immense fear of these supposed upholders of the law, and how their own racial suspicions of him could have easily led to his death. The police maintain the ability to sentence civilians to death in a heartbeat, and unfortunately are guided by racial biases to at times unjustly distribute this punishment. This ability to kill is necessary for police officers to protect the community, yet continues to be grossly misused. While this right to kill is different from a judge and jury’s right to kill, misuse by both parties supports the claim that the death penalty is too powerful to be justly distributed. While there are far more subjects to discuss regarding to this issue, I feel it necessary to state that I believe the death penalty should exist in a perfect society. I believe that certain crimes and certain situations warrant the punishment of death. However, the our society is not perfect. The justice system has failed to fairly use this punishment in far too many instances, and concludes that they cannot justly wield this
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