Just Mercy

Stevenson, Bryan

  18 Reviews

Although he grew up in a poor black community in the American South, Bryan Stevenson is a Harvard graduate, a law professor and an influential and impassioned advocate for those at the bottom of the heap. With their fate resting in the balance, he established a legal practice, the Equal Justice Initiative, which has successfully defended many of those most in need.

With one in three black men imprisoned in the USA, his plea for justice and mercy from their dysfunctional criminal justice system is compelling and powerfully argued. A disturbing but undoubtedly inspiring story. [Small font]

Comments from Groups

This book provoked great conversation. We were all equally appalled at the state of the American Criminal Justice system and how there is so much discrimination against the African-Americans, women and the mentally disabled. We voted this our most challenging book this year. [Christchurch 196]

A very stimulating and timely read. This book should be read by everyone to remind us of our freedom and political choices. [Taupo 007]

For once were were unanimous - all thought it was a most stimulating, horrific account of the author's work. We were full of admiration for Bryan Stevenson - his perseverence, philosophy and humanity. This book colours our reading of 'events' in the US. [Christchurch 058]

All agreed that this was compelling and at times hard to put down as the content is so challenging. Lively conversation about racism. [Raumati 001]

General concensus - well-written and enlightening. Though at times horrifying. One member found it so distressing it affected her sleep. Bryan Stevenson's commitment to battling for his death row clients is inspiring in an unbelievably corrupt system. We learnt a lot! [Wanaka 005]



AUCK 183
Well liked book. Very provocative and encouraged a good discussion about mercy, jail time for minors etc. Recommended reading.
CHCH 317
This book brought out more discussion than usual. It delved into the Southern States in USA and the total unfairness and corruption in that area. The story was wordy but the fact that Bryn Stevenson made a crusade out of championing the oppression of the African/Americans was notable. While this is a recent account in the USA, in other parts of the world it is also prevalent.
CHCH 518
This book was enjoyed by the entire group and many struggled to put it down. We had a lively and lengthy discussion on the law and justice system in N.Z. Two of our members work within that system so they brought a lot to the table. We found the title of the book intriguing as it could be interpreted different ways.
NELS 075
An extraordinary and insightful book that was both moving and horrific. We had a great discussion 'via Zoom', and many in our group were going off to find the movie on one of the streaming services.
While some of our group found this book an emotional read and had to put it down and come back to it, we all agreed it is one of the best books we've read. It prompted a lot of discussion about not only the American justice system and the racial bias that is still going on but also about our own justice system and the ethnicity of those currently in our prisons. This, along with the review of what happened to children placed into 'care' systems, where many were physically, sexually and emotionally abused left us all thinking about how change can come about and what can we do to support it.
CHCH 194
An excellent book - though it does give such a sad account of the American Justice system and the situation many have been subjected to. With so many recent racial problems that have made international media, we know there is still much to be changed. The book gave us plenty to discuss and relate to our own statistics here.
ASHB 016
Not all of us read this book but the ones who did found it disturbing and were horrified to realise that this is still happening. They were all pleased that they read it but were saddened by the statistics. He is an amazing man. It's coming out as a movie in January 2020. Most complained about the size of the font but managed, even one with a magnifying glass! This is a book that should be read - great conversation, the best for a very long time (and we always discuss the book!).
All of us read this book completely, and although it was a harrowing read, we felt it was a wonderful book, and that we have learned much that is important and valuable. We admire Bryan Stevenson's dedication and determination in establishing EIJ , we wept over the plight and experiences of the people whom he made us feel we knew and cared about. We would recommend this book as a serious read for dedicated readers.
CHCH 240
Enjoyed by our group, but many found it very depressing about what is still happening in America today. Brilliantly written with the case studies told as a story. Worth reading!
Especially enjoyed by members working in the health sector. The author raises and illustrates the issues of institutionalised racism very well.
Well-written by a lawyer whose determination and hard work on behalf, of poor, black and innocent clients exposes the horrifying and unbelievably bad miscarriages of justice. A real eye opener that is emotionally difficult at times.
CHCH 437
Mixed reviews on this one. Many didn't complete it, yet some who did loved it. It was interesting, and heart breaking in parts.
OHAU 001
This was a very harrowing account of justice American style, or rather the lack of justice for poor, black, disadvantaged and mentally ill people in a society of prejudice, paranoia and hate. It made us examine our own system, and the high rate of Maori (and the poor) incarcerated here.
Excellent. A disturbing book on many levels. A challenging eye opener on the American justice system, particularly with regard to Afro-American youth. Very well-written and highly recommended.
KOHE 001
Not everyone finished this gruelling book. A hard read.
HAVE 016
Book enjoyed by everyone. However most found it quite devastating to read, and were horrified at the sentences imposed. Comment was made on the excellent narrative eg. the Walter story coming in bits and pieces through the book. We embrace the power of individuals to make a difference and we admire Stevenson for his work, conviction and fortitude.
A very well written and powerful book - rated very highly by all the group and it engendered a wide ranging discussion.
WELL 060
Amazing book - very sobering. Everyone should read this book!