Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson, an attorney, heads the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to help just mercypeople who are serving unjust sentences.  One priority is assisting innocent people who are on death row.  Another major initiative is assisting juvenile offenders sent to adult prisons.  Stevenson successfully argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that put an end to sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A major part of the book involves Walter McMillan, a black Alabama resident who was on death row, awaiting execution for murder.  Stevenson, believing that Walter was innocent, decided that EJI would try to save Walter.  This is the most detailed of the compelling stories of injustice and of EJI’s success in helping many of these accused people.

The New York Times Book Review included these words, “Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”  Every American would profit from a fuller understanding of criminal justice issues, and this fascinating book is a good start.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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