Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson Instaread summary
Five out of five stars
There is no wider difference between liberals and conservatives than the debate over the death penalty. Liberals understand that the criminal justice system is arbitrarily unfair and selectively overpunishes the poor. They know that innocent people have been executed and they care about that. Therefore, they oppose it. Conservatives understand all of the same things, included the fact that innocent people have been executed and they don’t care. They consider it an acceptable cost of punishing the criminals.
Reading about the systemic and specific failures of the criminal justice system can be depressing, yet it is essential that the word get out and more minds changed regarding the problems. Specifically how minorities are selectively arrested and incarcerated. More recently, with the reduced funding for mental health treatment, many of the mentally ill are now behind bars for lack of any other place to put them.
Bryan Stevenson is a brilliant attorney that has spent a career defending Alabama prisoners that have been condemned to death. The main case discussed in this legal memoir is that of Walter McMillian, a black man falsely convicted of killing a woman and sentenced to death. However, the book covers much more than that, dealing with potent issues such as discrimination, fraud, lying and career opportunism among the police, corrections officers and the prosecutors.
Reading through this summary will move anyone in possession of empathy to sadness. It is very concise and gives you a clear understanding of the often absurd machinations of all aspects of the legal system. Some people may be content to just read this summary, not wanting to learn more of the “gory details” of how systemic the problems are. From reading this summary, I am convinced that this is a book that should be read by all as there is a growing movement for reform of the criminal justice system that it will nurture.
This book was made available for free for review purposes