Along with creating a blog space, we have been asking members to contribute book reviews to help inspire and challenge each other. Terry Wynn one of our members, reviews 'Just Mercy' by Bryan Stevenson.
"Bryan Stevenson is America's young Nelson Mandela----A brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all." So says Desmond Tutu on the front cover of this riveting book. If you are a fan of John Grisham then this is a real life Grisham hero. In fact Grisham says this about him, "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." And so it is, as it gives us an incite into the injustices of the US Justice system, especially when it comes to death row cases and life without parole sentences where young teenagers are involved.
It's a book that will move you to scream at some of the judgements and the aftermath that Stevenson takes on. The USA has the biggest prison population in the world with over 2,000,000 behind bars. One in every fifteen people goes to prison and for black men this rises to one in
three. Just about his first case concerns a black man on death row who maintains his innocence. He repeatedly comes back to this case throughout the book until you eventually find out the final outcome, which I won't spoil by stating what it is here.
Segregation was part of his upbringing and he is determined to fight for those in the most desperate need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the US criminal justice system. Once you've read this book, you won't forget it. It's a remarkable account of a man driven by his faith to see justice done, no matter how long it takes and no matter how lost the cause may seem to others."