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Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson) Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to After an encounter with a prisoner on death row at age twenty-three, Stevenson becomes passionate about correcting the deep flaws he sees in the system. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Up to this point, the study of law has seemed cool and distant to Stevenson, until an encounter with a death row prisoner brings “everything . Despite his optimism, Walter isn’t the same. Introduction. EJI takes on the cases of several juveniles sentenced to life in prison for homicide and non-homicide crimes, including Trina Garrett, Antonio Núñez, Ian Manuel, Joe Sullivan, Evan Miller and Ashley Jones. The deeper EJI gets, the angrier powerful officials and the white community become. Trina Garrett, Antonio Núñez, Ian Manuel, Joe Sullivan, Evan Miller, Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC), Voting Rights Protests of 1965 (Selma-to-Montgomery Marches). Ralph Myers, a mentally unstable white man involved in criminal activity with Karen Kelly, arbitrarily accused “Karen’s black boyfriend” of murdering Ronda. EJI helps Walter to reenter society. The new state investigation confirms EJI’s claims that Walter is innocent. Stevenson writes that EJI has represented low-income mothers falsely accused of murdering their children, such as Marsha Colbey. He remembers the words of Rosa Parks and Johnnie Carr, two veterans of civil rights who’d befriended and encouraged him years ago. The book begins by... Based on the evidence in Just Mercy, why are wrongful convictions and illegal trials involving... Young children are considered very unreliable witnesses. EJI receives several bomb threats, but they persist. Eventually, a remorseful and reformed Myers contacts EJI and recants his testimony. Just Mercy Summary Just Mercy is a memoir by lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson that details his advocacy for life-sentence and death row convicts. Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC). Simply punishing the broken only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. Throughout the book, Stevenson writes about the histories of different marginalized groups. EJI ultimately wins two landmark Supreme Court cases banning life sentences for juvenile offenders. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. He also illustrates how easily juvenile offenders are abused within the prison system. An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. Just Mercy Summary Just Mercy opens with Bryan Stevenson going to visit Henry, his first death row prisoner. Introduction: Higher Ground The memoir opens with the author, Bryan Stevenson, recounting his first visit to a death-row prisoner in 1983, when Stevenson was a twenty-three-year-old Harvard Law School student. Interspersed between segments of Walter’s story, Stevenson also tells the stories of many other individuals treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. He also describes, in some detail, the experiences of other badly treated individuals: women, the mentally and emotionally ill, youth, and some people who fall into more than one of those categories, not to mention those who identify as non-white. At the start of the memoir, Stevenson is a twenty-three-year-old law student, interning with the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC), a non-profit in Georgia that provides free legal aid to convicts. . The first follows / recounts the case of Walter McMillian, a black man wrongfully accused, and eventually convicted, of the death of a young white woman. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. He argues that mass incarceration, which disproportionately affects poor people and minorities, is the latest incarnation of systemic racial and economic violence. Throughout the book, Stevenson provides historical context, as well as his own moral and philosophical reflections on the American criminal justice and prison systems. into focus.”. He moves to Atlanta to work for the SPDC, and he eventually relocates to Montgomery, Alabama to found EJI. In a moment of epiphany, Stevenson grasps both Henry’s humanity and the judicial system’s attempts to dehumanize him. In chapter 7, Stevenson seeks a direct appeal of Walter McMillian's criminal conviction. Just Mercy (2014) is lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s memoir about his work advocating for the rights of convicts, who have been marginalized by a biased, punitive justice system. For instance, even before Stevenson meets McMillian, the trial judge who overrode the jury’s life sentence with... Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Just Mercy study guide and get instant access to the following: You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and 300,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. In Alabama, Stevenson represents many death row inmates, though the book focuses on the case of Walter McMillian. Henry’s enthusiasm, his friendliness, the way the prison guard sadistically tightens Henry’s manacles while hauling him away, and the hymn Henry breaks out into as an act of resistance have a profound effect on Stevenson. With many of his clients being poor and Black, Stevenson traces a direct continuum between the racial segregation laws of the Jim Crow era to present-day jails disproportionately crowded with minority inmates. Bryan explains how he became passionate about criminal defense law and defending death row prisoners after an internship with the Southern Center for Human Rights in the Deep South. Some of the stories he tells are about his actions in the courtroom. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Though the book contains profiles of many different people, the central storyline is that of the relationship between Stevenson, the organization he founded (the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI), and Walter McMillian, a black man wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death in Alabama in the late 1980’s. At the same time, the murder of a beloved local white woman, Ronda Morrison, rattled the town.

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