Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition): A Story of Justice and Redemption Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Number one New York Times best seller
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice - from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Esquire, and Time
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship - and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction
Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction
Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize
An American Library Association Notable Book
“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so...a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.” (David Cole, The New York Review of Books)
“Searing, moving... Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.” (Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times)
“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man.... The message of this book...is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.” (Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review)
“Inspiring... a work of style, substance and clarity... Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.” (The Washington Post)
“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.” (The Financial Times)
“Brilliant.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 11 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 21, 2014|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #1,198 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Biographies of Legal Professionals
#2 in Biographies of Activists
#11 in Lawyer & Judge Biographies
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Top reviews from the United States
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I heard an interview with Mr. Stevenson and Oprah on the Super Soul Conversations podcast, and I was immediately intrigued. After 10 minutes of hearing Mr. Stevenson speak about his non-profit, the Equal Justice Initiative and the work he does with those condemned to death row, I knew I had to learn more.
Not often is a book life changing to the extent it changes long held beliefs and opinions. Before this book, I had very concrete notions about the legal process and death row cases. After reading this book, I understand that courts and juries can get it wrong more often than we'd dare to think, even in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. More disturbing is how difficult it is to reverse sending an innocent person to death row once they've been pronounced guilty.
Mr. Stevenson is a Harvard educated lawyer, brilliant writer and inspirational human. Until I read this book, I'd never read another book where I've come away thinking, this should be mandatory reading for law school students or at least listed in the Top 100 Books to read in a lifetime list.
This book chronicles Mr. Stevenson's representation of those condemned to die on death row. While the majority of these people committed the crimes alleged, some of them didn't. In addition to providing fascinating insight into death row cases and demographics, Mr. Stevenson details helping exonerate Walter McMillan, a death row inmate convicted of killing an 18 year old girl. Despite numerous witnesses attesting to the fact Mr. McMillan was at a church fish fry, the jury sided with witnesses who had been told to say something different by law enforcement. Despite the trial judge on the case telling Mr. Stevenson not to take the case and despite receiving bomb and death threats, Mr. Stevenson took the case, proved the evidence had been contrived, leading to Mr. McMillan's exoneration in 1993.
I gained a different perspective on death row cases, the importance of initiatives like the Equal Justice Initiative, and a huge respect for Mr. Stevenson and lawyers like him. Not only did I personally feel that I'd been wasting my law degree for the past 18 years after reading this book, it made me want to do more for my community, to do more pro bono work and to really make a difference in lives.
Bravo, Mr. Stevenson, for this beautifully written work and for challenging me to think in ways I never have before on this topic. You make the profession of law proud.
Top reviews from other countries
I learned much I did not know - that judges in many US states run for office and are elected, for example. This leads to competition to be the toughest on crime in terms of sentencing. And much about US history - Stevenson persuasively suggests there have been four eras of history in the US, that of slavery, that of terrorism (lynching, the Ku Klux Klan etc) following Reconstruction, that of Jim Crow (institutionalised apartheid), and now an era of mass imprisonment. I was also reminded of much that is worst in human nature as well as about much that is best. Stevenson says 'we are all broken' in different ways. There are telling anecdotes from his own life - being stopped by the police for now reason while in his car late at night near his home and having a gun pointed at him and then an illegal search of his car, being mistaken by a judge for a criminal rather than a defence attorney because he is black. Much of the book is very moving. Just possibly the worst is over with several Supreme Court victories, and some decline in the imposition of the death penalty in very recent years...
So: I'd simply recommend this very strongly to all others.
His is a remarkable story of courage, persistence, and sheer humanity, and his work is now rightly recognised throughout the world. The book is not a comfortable read; many of his clients have suffered appalling injustice and abuse, and he pulls no punches in writing about them. But the book also includes stories of enormous courage and forgiveness, as well as of heartbreak and tragedy. One character in particular stands out, as we follow his story from wrongful conviction as a young man through numerous appeals and setbacks. Stevenson points out that even now, a white guilty man stands a better chance of finding justice than one who is black and innocent, and he challenges a society that identifies people by the worst thing they have done, ignoring the good.
For some years, I have corresponded with a prisoner on Texas death row facing execution, and I know from his letters some of the devastating effects of years of solitary confinement, without any opportunity for redemption, so this book was of especial interest to me. But to all who are in favour of - as well as against - the death penalty, I would say read this book. It is a real eye-opener, as well as giving shocking insight into the judicial system of the United States, who have the highest rate of imprisonment in the entire world. The link below leads to a speech by Stevenson, which describes some of what can be found in his remarkable book.