Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson
Use this guide to find background information and to investigate the themes of the book.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Bryan Stevenson, an African American from Milton, Delaware, grew up feeling the effect of racialized hierarchy on his family and community. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law firm advocating for those who have been trapped in a racially discriminatory criminal justice system.
Today Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.
Just Mercy interweaves Stevenson’s story as a young lawyer with those of the people he has served. Centering on the riveting tale of Walter McMillan, a man on death row for a murder he didn't commit, Just Mercy exposes the political, legal, and social traps that sentence innocent citizens to prison--and death. Ultimately, Stevenson makes a heartfelt, compelling argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.