Bryan Stevenson’s is the author of the book Just Mercy: A story of justice and redemption, he starts off the book with an introduction where he talks about his early life back in 1983 he also talks about his career, and the plans he had in college and his journey that led him to the life/career he now has. Bryan Stevenson is an American lawyer born in November 14, 1959 he is well known for his book Just Mercy and being the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Stevenson’s starts of his book with an introduction about his early life and career/ college life. He studied philosophy during his first years, in college he was not sure what he wanted to do with his life after or the career he wanted to pursue. It was then when he was led to law school, during his third year in college attending Harvard he joined and internship in George that’s where he met a death row prisoner for the first time.
Bryan Stevenson states in his book that the book is about getting closer to mass incarceration and the extreme punishment in America (Stevenson14) This is a book that helps people understand the injustices in our legal system. Some people interested in criminal justice or other criminal justice majors might have interest in the book The book Just Mercy explores a number of devastating cases like the most recent ones that have been explained in the book are in chapter two. For example, the one where a black teenager had been shot and killed by the police, this case happened when the teenager was pulled over and he reached down to the floor to grab his driver license this paragraph states that teen was “nervous” then it led the police to kill him for no reason, the parents were informed and they said their son never had any intentions of hurting anyone or even make someone feel threaten. (Stevenson18)
In chapter one it has been four years since Stevenson graduated from the law school he attended then he starts working at the SPDC. The next day of work he receives a call from the judge, the judge is very upset because Stevenson wants to deal with the case of McMillan who is known as one of the “biggest drug dealers in south Alabama “. Although the judge gives a lot of reasons to Stevenson so he can drop the case and not get himself involved with it he does not care and continues. Later then he starts with McMillan’s life story and the charges that he had with the police. In chapter one Stevenson trusts McMillan, even though he is being accused of a crime, he believes that everyone should have equal rights and just because he was an African American known as the biggest drug dealer in his home town that shouldn’t stop him from doing his job, and since everyone is against him that does not change his point of view on McMillan he believes he can defend the case and take over the case no matter other people’s opinions. This quote “Mr. Bryan I know I may not matter to you but it is important to me that you know im innocent and didn’t do what they said I did” (Stevenson22) this quote shows emotion.
In chapter two, after living with Stevie for a while Stevenson decides to move in with an old class mate from Harvard. After he has been dealing with a lot of cases he starts realizing how awful a life of a prisoner is our could be. Stevenson talks about a case if a thirty-nine-year-old African American who was arrested for swerving. He also states how African American community is more likely to be victims of racism, police brutality. Later in the chapter Stevenson talks about a situation that happened outside his house back in the day, he says that he was outside his house in his car and the swat team encounters him they came up to him and suspected him as a thief, they did an illegal search in his and the only thing they found is gum and m&ms. Stevenson found it very disgraceful of them to accuse him of thief he filed a complaint and wanted an apology and wonder if things would’ve gone different and he would’ve told the police that he was a lawyer. This quote “these aren’t my scars cuts and bruise. These are my medal honors” (Stevenson47) this quote was said by someone that was said by a man in a wheelchair during his speech this shows that he does not regret fighting for what he believes is right and fighting for justice and equal rights, and that he is proud of having the scars because he fought for what he thought was right. In chapter three McMillan was accused of murdering Ronda, although the police did not have enough evidence for accession and to have him arrested, they arrested him on a pretextual charge and meanwhile authorities had more time to go in depth with the case. Walter did not commit a murder but he was still charged. Then McMillan was actually found guilty by the state and sentenced to death because of his skin color. This case was a perfect example of racism and corruption.
Chapter 4 talks about Stevenson and his partner Eva Ashley focusing on helping men and women who are conducted death row move from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery. Later in the chapter talks about a man Herbert he veteran traumatized by the effects that happened during war. He was hospitalized and he fell in love with a nurse and tried to marry her, he was arrested and sentenced to death for murder. While reading this chapter it shows that Stevenson tried his best to avoid the execution by explaining how everything was an accident and his intentions weren’t to murder the little girl. After this case Bryan changed and was more determined and wanted to help a lot more people that had similar cases.
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