Just Mercy is a book written by Bryan Stevenson. The book tells stories of justice and redemption in America. People are often wrongly-convicted; some spend years in jail while others get put on death row for crimes they did not commit. People on death row usually are given lawyers that do not care about proving them innocent. The American justice system’s unfairness has affected many people, especially those whom are part of the African-American society as well as high poverty areas. 5
Bryan Stevenson is an African-American law student from a poor community in Delaware. Stevenson’s grandmother was the daughter of former slaves and influenced him to become a lawyer. He originally went to school for philosophy, then realized there was …show more content…
Karen Kelly and Ralph Myers are accused of the murders. Myers attempts to minimize his sentence by saying that he has witnessed McMillian at the scene of the murder. McMillan claims that he was nowhere near the murder scene. The new sheriff, Tom Tate is pressured to find a suspect and end the case. He is willing to charge the innocent for the murder. Although there is no evidence that McMillian was involved in the murder the court charges him and he placed in jail. 7
Stevenson describes cases in Alabama, where black men died due to the cruelty of the police. Lourida Ruffin was beaten by a police officer and refused to give Ruffin his inhaler. Ruffin later died in a holding cell. While working on the case, Stevenson finds out about an innocent African-American teenager shot and killed by police while trying to reach for his license. While Stevenson was sitting in his car outside of his apartment at night, the police are called by a neighbor. Once the police arrive the question Stevenson and violate many laws while searching his car. …show more content…
Stevenson gives examples of U.S. military veterans not receiving the correct medical help after returning from service. Herbert Richardson was the first execution that Stevenson witnessed. Richardson was a war veteran with psychological problems. He was placed on death row for unintentionally killing his ex-girlfriend's niece. Nearly twenty percent of the jail and prison population have served in the military. 6
Stevenson goes to meet McMillian’s family whom claims they were with him at the time of the murder. Darnell Houston is a clerk at an auto shop in Alabama. He contacts Stevenson and confirms that the eyewitness in McMillian’s case lied under oath. Stevenson meets with the district attorney to file for a retrial. The court denied the request despite the new testimony. 5
Stevenson works on a new case involving a fourteen year old boy who shot his mother's boyfriend. The mother is frequently beaten by the drunk boyfriend. The boyfriend was shot while he was sleeping on the bed, after he caused the mother to become unconscious. Charlie claims he was protecting himself and his mother. However, the boy is held in jail facing capital murder charges. Charlie reports being abused by inmates and Stevenson gets him relocated. After telling Charlie’s story to a church group, Stevenson and many others raise money for him to get his degree.