Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
By: Bryan Stevenson
My Rating: FIVE out of FIVE STARS!
Best for: 16 and up
Warning: This review is going to be a gusher.
Just Mercy stopped me in my tracks. Knocked me out cold. Froze me where I stood.
It taught me things I didn’t know and corrected things I thought I knew.
I loved this book. I hope to meet Bryan Stevenson one day, and when I do I’m skipping the handshake and going straight for the bear hug he deserves, social distancing be darned.
The law requires justice. Justice is blind. Justice leaves no room for mercy.
But just mercy? Can you apply justice, and be merciful at the same time? Is that even a thing?
It should be.
And it is, thanks to heroes like Bryan Stevenson.
Bryan Stevenson’s book tells story after story of the poor and underrepresented who are failed by the American Justice System. Children who are sentenced to die in prison for poor decisions with tragic endings. Women who cannot afford medical care deliver stillborn babies but are accused of murdering them. Racially motivated accusations that become easy scapegoats for pressured officials, leading to false convictions and a private room on death row.
Byran Stevenson founded Equal Justice Initiative, a non-for-profit that gives free legal representation to those who are most desperate and in need. His stories inspired me to change my opinion and opened my eyes to the tragedies that occur around me in the hidden dark parts of the justice system.
It’s well written and engaging. My heart rate soared and I was compelled to turn the pages quickly–sometimes I felt like I was reading a John Grisham courtroom thriller instead of a real-life memoir. Uniquely, I found the audiobook easier to follow than the printed book. Tragic situations are discussed, but it’s not violent or graphic. One instance of strong language as a direct quote.
I couldn’t possibly give a stronger recommendation. Just Mercy wins.
Best for 16 and up.