Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Stevenson)

Stevenson is coming to Cleveland in March, so I ordered the book (which deserves a wider release and a much better cover). If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it (https://www.cityclub.org/events/let-s-talk-about-injustice-a-community-conversation). The book starts off as a kind of memoir, a coming-of-age or awareness story as Stevenson finds himself and his true calling in the prisons and especially in the death rows of the south. He writes with remarkable clarity and precision about moments that transformed him and his thinking – getting accosted by the SWAT team outside of his apartment in Atlanta because he remained in his car to listen to a Sly and the Family Stone marathon, for example.

He focuses on the case of Walter McMillan, one of his first cases. He recounts, in an impressively straightforward manner, the case against McMillan and how it was, and there’s no better word for it, concocted. He takes us through the steps he and his still new organization took to try to right this very large wrong. To his credit, Stevenson does not end the account of McMillan’s case after it is resolved (trying to avoid spoilers here). Instead, he follows the story of the human being.

From the title to the ending, this is a stunning and important book about issues that demand not only our attention, but our action. We can’t let Stevenson or even his organization (http://www.eji.org/) stand alone.

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