• The Meredith Herald Staff

Bryan Stevenson Challenges and Inspires in Memoir Just Mercy

- By Caitlyn Grimes, Staff Writer -


Bryan Stevenson, an exceedingly successful attorney and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative portrays his fight for eliminating discrimination in the criminal justice system in the memoir Just Mercy. Stevenson’s book parallels current events in the country. Just Mercy has been proclaimed as society’s reality version of To Kill A Mockingbird, teaching readers how “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”


Throughout the book, we follow the stories of Stevenson’s major cases of his law career. Readers are introduced to riveting perceptions, harsh truths, and the concept of benevolent goodwill in the aim for justice. Stevenson illustrates to readers how it is possible to be a part of change, no matter how intimidating or beyond one’s capabilities.


Just Mercy shows Stevenson’s perspective of how law school seemed “abstract and disconnected before, but meeting the desperate and imprisoned, it all became relevant and critically important,” a relatable feeling that law students have before real life application of their profession. Each chapter bolsters a sense of energy and endurance that anyone would hope to acquire towards their profession. Ultimately, Stevenson actively shows readers how the right amount of passion and determination can help one succeed in any cause or project.


Stevenson’s memoir is like no other, depicting honest emotions of citizens who have been wrongfully accused. The stories of each chapter teach us how “the true measure of our character is how we treat the poorer, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” I was personally inspired while reading this genuine, heartfelt novel. Just Mercy blends a sense of warmth and hope with a chilling awareness of the injustices in the criminal justice system. Bryan Stevenson’s morals, stories, and drive can inspire one not only to fight for justice but also to never give up on a goal.

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