Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: a Phenomenal Autobiography About Poverty and Justice

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: a Phenomenal Autobiography about Poverty and Justice

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Plot
  • Tone
  • Audience
  • Works cited


The book, Just Mercy, written by Bryan Stevenson, is a phenomenal autobiography worth reading. The book has received a tremendous amount of awards including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work award. In the book Just Mercy, the author shares his life and experiences in Alabama, and how he supports innocent men on death row who were wrongly convicted. Throughout the different cases, we see how a great number of the men who are sentenced due to their race and vulnerability. Poverty is a major aspect that is portrayed in Just Mercy,and it was also very common for African Americans in the South during the 1980's.

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Walter's Mcmillian's case is the main storyline of the book. Walter was born into a povAfrican American family outside of Monroeville, Alabama. As an adult, Walter became a prosperous small businessman. He had an extensive, tight-knit family and several children with his lovely wife, Minnie. He was later involved in an affair with a white woman and was falsely incriminated of murdering a different white woman. The book is deticated around Stevenson's efforts to get Walter's conviction everted, so he can save him from the death penalty.

The main theme of this book, according to the author, is that "The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is Justice." The author's remark conveys how African Americans are being treated remarkably unfairly that not even a significant quantity of money can overcome the prejudice they deal with their everyday lives.


Throughout the book, Bryan Stevenson, illustrates the tone of hope. Mr. Stevenson's hopeful tone is most detectable during cases of clients beginning to lose faith in themselves. Nonetheless, Bryan does not give up ambition in these circumstances, instead he pursues to exert all options accessible that may aid his clients. While writing Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson chose not only to write with a hopeful tone, but also with a cultivated and sagacious word choice. The author's word selection found in Just Mercy shows how Mr. Stevenson is immensely equipped and agile within his field.


Just Mercy brings a new perspective to readers who never experienced African American injustice. The Washington Post describes the book by saying "Thanks in significant part to Stevenson's brilliance and dedication to a cause that hasn't always been popular, the situation in Alabama and across the land is improving. Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he's also a gifted writer and storyteller. His memoir should find an avid audience among players in the legal system — jurists, prosecutors, defense lawyers, legislators, academics, journalists — and especially anyone contemplating a career in criminal justice."

The book is not only great for individuals who are wanting to read something new, but for college students in law school. The New York Times additionally mentioned how "The message of this book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man's refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. "Just Mercy" will make you upset and it will make you hopeful." An audience looking for an invigorating book would be the best fit for this novel!

Works cited

  1. Stevenson, B. (2014). Just mercy: A story of justice and redemption. Spiegel & Grau.
  2. Stevenson, B. (2012). We need to talk about an injustice. TED Conferences.
  3. Worrall, S. (2019). Bryan Stevenson: America's slavery past is still present. National Geographic.
  4. Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. The New Press.
  5. DuVernay, A., & Stevenson, B. (2019). 13th [Film]. Netflix.
  6. Ghandnoosh, N. (2018). Race and punishment: Racial perceptions of crime and support for punitive policies. The Sentencing Project.
  7. Ross, L. (2015). Just mercy: A story of justice and redemption [Book review]. Journal of Criminal Justice and Law Review, 4(1), 22-26.
  8. Glenn, E. N. (2016). Unequal freedom: How race and gender shaped American citizenship and labor. Harvard University Press.
  9. O'Brien, B. (2019). ‘Just Mercy’ Review: A White-Knuckle Legal Thriller. The Wall Street Journal.
  10. Brinkley, D. (2014). Bryan Stevenson’s crusade for the wrongly condemned. The New York Times.

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