Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
Incarceration, in the US, is the primary form of punishment for any sort of felony, according to Bryan Stevenson. But there’s a lot more to it than what meets the eye: a system that is more broken, punitive, and corrupted than helpful. It’s a system that relies on racial discrimination rather than actual facts, and it’s the system that incarcerates hundred and thousands more people each year.
Within these mounting numbers is another problem: death row. When a system is as broken as it is, the death penalty is disproportionally borne by innocent people wrongfully accused due to a lack of understanding.
As a young lawyer, Bryan Stevenson recognized this problem and has since done as much as he can to solve it. He formed the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI, in order to provide the legal support that innocent people, condemned to die, need—and for free. In this inspiring memoir, Stevenson shares his stories and the stories of many he has worked to save from death row: hardworking men wrongfully accused of murder, people with mental illness imprisoned rather than receiving the treatment they need, and countless children and people in abusive scenarios only trying to survive.
Just Mercy reveals the brokenness of the criminal justice system in America, and, through empathy and compassion, sheds light on the humanity we need to find in order to fix it—and the knowledge that it’s a long way up from here.