Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy

By Bryan Stevenson

  • Publication Date: 2014-10-21
  • Genre: Law
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 339 Ratings)

Book Synopsis


A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Praise for Just Mercy
Just Mercy is every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so. . . . [It] demonstrates, as powerfully as any book on criminal justice that I’ve ever read, the extent to which brutality, unfairness, and racial bias continue to infect criminal law in the United States. But at the same time that Stevenson tells an utterly damning story of deep-seated and widespread injustice, he also recounts instances of human compassion, understanding, mercy, and justice that offer hope. . . . Just Mercy is a remarkable amalgam, at once a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books

“A searing, moving and infuriating memoir . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela. For decades he has fought judges, prosecutors and police on behalf of those who are impoverished, black or both. . . . Injustice is easy not to notice when it affects people different from ourselves; that helps explain the obliviousness of our own generation to inequity today. We need to wake up. And that is why we need a Mandela in this country.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”The Washington Post

“Unfairness in the justice system is a major theme of our age. . . . This book brings new life to the story by placing it in two affecting contexts: Stevenson’s life work and the deep strain of racial injustice in American life. . . . The book extols not his nobility but that of the cause, and reads like a call to action for all that remains to be done. . . . The message of the book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man’s refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review

“Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”—John Grisham

From the Hardcover edition.

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Latest User Reviews

  • Just Mercy’s call for both

    By Gamepadsith
    This book was so gut wrenching and very well written. I enjoyed both the book and audio book as Bryan Stevenson is the reader. “I am here!”
  • We are all Human

    By unc041992
    In Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy", we are reminded that we are all human. That any emotions we might have toward an individual or about a situation, there is another side of that story. He reminds us that every person is worthy of God's grace and mercy, especially those who are the most vulnerable in society. While some see Mr. Stevenson as an apologist for vicious criminals, it is clear that he is devoted to giving everyone their constitutional right to an attorney and a shoulder to lean on in their darkest hours. Many people cannot fathom working so many hours to help someone, only to have them be strapped down and killed in front of you. Mr. Stevenson is an angel from God for these condemned people. This book is a taste of that journey that so few of us would consider ever venturing on. Excellent book
  • Good reads

    By Derrickb98
    Great read, give it at shot.
  • Just Mercy

    By Juliedancer
    Amazing! It should be required reading in all high schools. For us old folks too.
  • Excellent Read

    By Pelleast
    This novel is thought provoking, profound and a tremendous wake up call to the harsh realities of the American criminal justice system.
  • Required Reading

    By ChannonNichole
    Every American must read this.
  • Incredible

    By saz531
    He is an incredible man who reminds us all that we need change
  • Just Fascinating!

    By Consta ance
    Very interesting book regarding the abuse and misuse of the American justice system! I am thrill that children and the poor has an office of guardian angels looking out for them! Very good book!
  • Great book!!

    By Yamileth2006
    This book make me laughed and cried. It was captivating and emotional
  • Just Mercy

    By Inspired in Seattle
    This book was so inspiring but heartbreaking. The brutal truth of the injustice in our justice system made me completely change my mind on the death penalty. Mostly though it taught me the real meaning of mercy. The importance of compassion and the reality that I too am broken, but I'm not ashamed of it anymore now. We are all somewhat broken, and those of us who can admit it can perhaps be there to be a stone catcher, and someone to lean on. Thank you for writing the best and most important book I have ever read. Thank you for your sacrifice, grace, compassion and mercy for the hundreds you have helped and the many more that you have given hope. You will be shocked to know that I am a conservative who has always believed in the death penalty. I am the Mother of a son who was in ICU for eight days after being brutally attacked, and no one was ever held accountable. And yet this book changed everything for me and my belief system. That's quite an accomplishment. Thank you for giving me the gift of peace and mercy. I wish I could meet you one day just to give you someone to lean on for a few moments and give me a chance to say thank you.