A Rage Inducing Indictment of Our Justice System — My Quick Notes on Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Bryan Stevenson

As soon as I finished Just Mercy, I ordered four additional copies of the book to share with friends and relatives. I’ve never done that before, but this book is so powerful and so important that I felt the need to physically put it in people’s hands.

Just Mercy is a number of things. It is a memoir of sorts of Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and one of the country’s foremost death penalty and social justice lawyers. It is the story of Walter McMillian a man falsely accused of murder who spent years on death row before Stevenson and his team exonerated him. And perhaps most importantly it is a searing, heartbreaking, rage inducing indictment of our criminal justice system and the way it destroys the lives of so, so many.

Walter McMillian and Bryan Stevenson after McMillian’s release.

It’s an incredible book full of wrenching stories of people (mostly black and brown, mostly poor) who have gotten fucked over by our justice system. But it is more than this as well. It’s also the story of how Stevenson has kept his humanity, and his hope in justice, while doing the hardest work a lawyer can do day in, day out, for decades.

This one is beyond a good book, or even an important book, it’s an essential book. I have an extra copy you can borrow if you want.



Bryan Stevenson

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  1. 2016: My Year In Books | Milo and the Calf

    […] Book – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Manny Marable.  A tough one. I loved One of Us and Just Mercy and in another year could have picked either of those. But Marable’s book is on another level. […]

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