Lauren Reed :: review of Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
Mrs. Reed has a review for us, about a book that she got from one of our book sales. Check this out:
“At 15, I watched the movie “Dead Man Walking” with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. It was the first movie that I remember deeply impacting me, and effectively moving me outside of my adolescent self-absorption. I decided in that moment, that I could never understand or support capital punishment.
In “Just Mercy”, Bryan Stevenson emotes a similar response. This incredible work of non-fiction reads like a narrative novel, as he tells the stories of those wrongly convicted, or sentenced to death or excessive punishment. However, we also learn about people who have committed terrible crimes, the author narrating their stories with compassion and relevance. This helps you if not empathize, at least see how the person arrived there and view the whole picture in context and empathy. Especially those we may easily judge or hold bias against like the poor, the mentally ill, or the oppressed. Mr. Stevenson points out that whether it be fear or anger, we are quick to condemn those most helpless and that “EACH OF US IS MORE THAN THE WORST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE”- something, I think, we can all relate to.
The author’s life’s work in founding the Equal Justice Initiative is enormously daunting. He is representing the most vulnerable of society, and up against the beasts of increasing mass incarceration, institutionalized racism and the prison- industrial complex. Fighting for the fair sentenceing, treatment or rehabilitation of the convicted or unfairly accused is needed.
Obviously, this book is infuriating and upsetting, but at the same time, I felt inspired by the author’s determination to stand up for those misrepresented and mistreated. It encouraged me to continue advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves – the vulnerable and voiceless, poor, mentally ill, or disadvantaged. I’m sure I haven’t given this amazing book the credit it deserves, but I hope I’ve at least persuaded you to read it!
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“Just Mercy is an incredible work of non-fiction by the man who founded the Equal Justice Initiative and the lynching memorial that just opened in AL.”
March Book Sale is around the corner and we need book donations. If you have more than 2 boxes, head to 68 Calhoun St. Less than 2 boxes, drop at any #chascolibrary branch. Thank you!