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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
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Archive: Other Books > Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson / 5 Stars

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Kimber (kimberwolf) | 823 comments Just Mercy, a non-fiction book by Bryan Stevenson, deserves its place on the NY Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books list for 2014. Stevenson is an attorney who started a non-profit organization called Equal Rights Initiative, with a law office in Alabama, to represent prisoners on death row who were woefully underrepresented and, in some cases, innocent of the charges against them. Stevenson and his team also filed the suits that ended up in the Supreme Court and changed laws about minors being sentenced to prison until death without possibility of parole (this was in the headlines a few years back).
In addition to relaying the authors own experiences with racial profiling, the book tells the story of Walter McMillian, a death row inmate who was unjustly accused of murder, and the terrifying way local authorities stacked the deck against him successfully even though he had dozens of eyewitnesses to substantiate his alibi at the time the homicide occurred.
In alternating chapters, Stevenson tells of other heart-breaking cases he worked on that involved mentally ill death row inmates and minors being incarcerated - and abused - in adult facilities.
He also talks about the history that led America from slavery on through to our current prison system. It's chilling to be reminded of, or to discover, the very recent dates associated with so much injustice. For example, I was not aware that interracial marriage was illegal in Alabama until November 2000. What?!
It is gut-wrenching to read the details of the individual cases, but makes the reader hopeful that such dedicated people are working so hard toward better conditions for the incarcerated and for equal rights over all.

Ellen | 2053 comments I thought this book was very well-done and quite thought-provoking.

Anita Pomerantz | 6257 comments Agree wholeheartedly that this is a five star book . . .extremely informative and well done.

Kelly | 775 comments This was an excellent book! I agree with your rating.

message 5: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah | 195 comments Agreed! I think I did this one in one sitting.

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