31 books I can’t live without: Just Mercy (26)

This month I’m participating in the #write31days challenge by highlighting 31 books I can’t live without. Check out this post for more information, and otherwise, read on! 


518qhqvqkl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Title: Just Mercy

Author: Bryan Stevenson

Synopsis: “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.”

Why I can’t live without this book: If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know there’s not a book I recommend more highly. When it comes to conversations of race in America today, this is a starting point. When it comes to understanding justice and mercy, in particular in the legal system and as it relates to those who’ve been wrongly accused, this is a crucial read for all of us. I don’t know what else I can say but I was changed by reading this book (and by having seen him in person), and I know you will be, too.

(One of my) favorite quotes: “Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. … The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” Get proximate, y’all!

So, Just Mercy: have you read it? Did it change you? HOW did it change you is the question we should be asking here. 

*Post contains Amazon Affiliate links, yo!

2 thoughts on “31 books I can’t live without: Just Mercy (26)

  1. Yes! Required reading for everyone!! How did it change me? It really hit home the deep, deep systemic problems we have with our justice system. That it won’t be changed overnight and goes back farther that I could imagine. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t start working for change…. This book changed the way I research who to vote for and has made me rethink a lot of how I can make decisions. (As an average, non lawyer, mom….)

    1. That’s really cool to hear, Annie – it sounds like it had a profound change on you, on a number of different levels!

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