Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson



Review: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Bryan Stevenson
Spiegel & Grau
2015

I missed this one in its original offering, but I am glad to have discovered it in paper.   Yes, this is about justice and mercy from a lawyer’s own experience and practice.  A single case serves as the base story line for this book, but there’s plenty of others interspersed as well.  This reads as well as most recent fiction, but it’s true and with endnotes too.  

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and RedemptionStevenson originally worked with death row inmates primarily in the Alabama prisons.  If you are from Alabama I’ll tell you now it isn’t a pretty story of the legal system in that state.  Not only in the days gone by, but also in more recent times.  Other states take some hits too, so he didn’t single just Alabama out.  And they aren’t all in the South. This book has been compared to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  It does carry a sad resemblance. 

What the author is attempting to do, however, is to bring to the forefront some issues with the justice system in the USA that need the light of day on them.  We all know that there’s stuff that has happened, but for me I wasn’t aware of the frequency and breadth.  And it isn’t just a minority issue.  But before your hair burns too far down, he’s not a total far, far left progressive as far as his treatment of his story.  He is wants the reader to see justice dispensed with mercy as the title suggests.  That’s what we all want to see happen and he has taken up cases that were brought to his attention in service of that credo. His original involvement had to do with the reviews that death row inmates apparently are entitled to have before their execution.  Something that some were not able to obtain and his career grows from that point.

It’s worth your time to read.  I learned about some practices that I didn’t know existed in our legal system.   I imagine you will also.

I received this book form the publisher in return for a review.

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