Tuesday, August 9, 2016

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

Bryan Stevenson has spent his career working for the poor, the mentally ill, for youth tried as adults, and for other people somehow disadvantaged and lost in the American justice system. It's hard work, and it doesn't pay well. Every day he's faced with horrible stories of lives lost and damaged - yet he keeps at it with grace and diligence and perseverance.

In this book, Stevenson discusses his legal cases, uses notable individual stories to exemplify his points, and outlines the cultural need for compassion.

The book is heartbreaking, yet optimistic. The plight of some of their clients is truly upsetting - innocent people on death row, children abused in all ways and incarcerated with adults, mentally ill individuals without medical treatment. Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative staff have made great strides in cases argued and won with the Supreme Court.

It's the kind of book that forces you to look around you and wonder how you can make some difference. I can't argue a case before the Supreme Court. But I could lend a hand to the homeless. I could try to be a role model for disadvantaged kids. I could ... do something. And that's where it starts.

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