Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is a book that describes the injustice of the prison systems, racial discrimination, and more specifically, the horrors of death row. What intrigued me most about this book is that racial discrimination is so rampant in the United States - it is actually quite sickening to me. I really had no idea that so many, including kids, get lost in the system to the point of wasting away in prison, even when they are wrongly accused. 

The main account is about a man named Walter McMillan, who was wrongly accused of murder. The reasons behind him being accused are so heinous that it made me cringe at the way white people treated and still treat those of darker color. Just Mercy doesn't only account Walter's history in the system, but many others that Mr. Stevenson himself has helped, or those his non-profit organization, Equal Justice Initiative, have helped. The information in the book is crucial, I believe, for everyone to know. Like this tidbit cited from page 15 of the book:

The prison population has increased from 300,000 people in the early 1970s to 2.3 million people today.
I love the heart of Mr. Stevenson. I believe he is so very right in believing that what people need is mercy. As he himself says:

Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving.
Jesus himself says,

 John 8:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

Now, there are some instances where I really firmly believe that people deserve nothing more than life imprisonment. Repeat offenders, those proven guilty of hurting children and sexual crimes, in my opinion, deserve just that. This however, digs deep into the flaws of the system - those wrongly accused or those caught in the wrong place at the wrong time - sentenced to life when they have serious mental issues and need serious help or those who are as young as 13 years old. Young children can change - they have hope. I really love how Mr. Stevenson addresses this and that he has taken such a stand on the topic.

I really hope more people read this book and become enlightened on things some don't even think about anymore. I know I naively thought some of these racial issues were those of the past. Another thing I like is that Mr. Stevenson does not discriminate - he has helped men, women, and children of all colors. This isn't a book about one race - it is about humanity and the mercy we all need to offer to everyone.

I highly recommend this not only as an informational read, but as a teaching tool for our children, so they too can try to understand the importance of love, helping those in need, and mercy - because we all need mercy at some point in our lives.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books to read and review. Idea's and opinions are 100% my own. 


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