Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • 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.

“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • 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 Excellence in 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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In this book I have taken true life events that have actually occurred in my lifetime. My inspiration was about a real life game of Russian roulette. The last soul survivor of five young teenage boys was the one who told me his story. They did not all die from the actual playing of the game, but it did cause the boys a deep depression that took their lives, one by one. However, they did not all die the way my book describes. In fact, one of the boys deaths was context I used from a real incident that took place when I was growing up. He was my friend. This boy was being bullied by six other teenage boys. After beating him up and ramming his head through a plate glass window of the local paramount theater, he decided to end it all and jump in front of a train. Bullying is a serious matter that can effect young minds in ways that are so horrible, you might not fi nd out what is really going on with them, until it is too late. May Tommy rest in peace. But I could not end this book here. I believe that when something bad happens, there are always good things to fall in its place. So I threw a few twists into my writings. There is a forest on the outskirts of my home town that was declared the historical cottonwoods, in which I use as the setting for this book. Wandering through the forest one day, I discovered a rather large naturally hollowed out cottonwood tree. This is where one lucky boys adventures begin. The boys built a real working elevator inside the tree that would lead to the bottom of a two story tree house they also constructed. But it does not end there. A magical book of secrets reveals itself. In this book it tells the story about an underground city as it really happens. Inside the hollow of the tree and approximately ten feet below the surface, an underground elevator is activated, once the owner of the book comes forward. This will lead to a hallway full of doors, each leading to mystical places beyond your wildest dreams. At the end of the first hallway is a rather large room where all hallways begin. A hidden ceiling door slides open with a thunderous ear deafening screech. It is the glass bottom of the Fraser river, in which you are able to view underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Down one of the hallways there is a door to an ancient library that tells the history of the underground. It is referred to as the spell room. There is also another door that leads to the four seasons. A big wooden door separates the hallways full of doors from an underground city called the Packs. Inside this city is a rather unique arena where there is a hockey game like you have never seen before.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Spiegel & Grau
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Published on
Oct 21, 2014
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780812994537
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / African American & Black
Law / Criminal Law / Sentencing
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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After many decades of stability, the imprisonment rate in the United States quintupled between 1973 and 2003. Since then, nearly all states have adopted multiple reforms intended to reduce imprisonment, but the U.S. imprisonment rate has only decreased by a paltry two percent. Why are American sentencing reforms since 2000 been largely ineffective? Are tough mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders the primary reason our prisons are always full? This book offers a fascinating assessment of the wave of sentencing reforms adopted by dozens of states as well as changes at the federal level since 2000, identifying common themes among seemingly disparate changes in sentencing policy and highlighting recent reform efforts that have been more successful and may point the way forward for the nation as a whole.

In The Failed Promise of Sentencing Reform, author Michael O'Hear exposes the myths that American prison sentencing reforms enacted in the 21st century have failed to have the expected effect because U.S. prisons are filled to capacity with nonviolent drug offenders as a result of the "war on drugs," and because of new laws that took away the discretion of judges and corrections officials. O'Hear then makes a convincing case for the real reason sentencing reforms have come up short: because they exclude violent and sexual offenders, and because they rely on the discretion of officials who still have every incentive to be highly risk-averse. He also highlights how overlooking the well-being of offenders and their families in our consideration of sentencing reform has undermined efforts to effect real change.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out.

“An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

“This harrowing, often enraging book is a hopeful one, as well, profiling innovative new approaches and the frontline advocates who champion them.”—Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted

FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE • SHORTLISTED FOR THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS BOOK PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The New York Public Library • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews

The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. That image of the law does not match the reality in the courtroom, however. Much of the time, it is prosecutors more than judges who control the outcome of a case, from choosing the charge to setting bail to determining the plea bargain. They often decide who goes free and who goes to prison, even who lives and who dies. In Charged, Emily Bazelon reveals how this kind of unchecked power is the underreported cause of enormous injustice—and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle.

Charged follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system: Kevin, a twenty-year-old in Brooklyn who picked up his friend’s gun as the cops burst in and was charged with a serious violent felony, and Noura, a teenage girl in Memphis indicted for the murder of her mother. Bazelon tracks both cases—from arrest and charging to trial and sentencing—and, with her trademark blend of deeply reported narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, illustrates just how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don’t have to.

Bazelon also details the second chances they prosecutors can extend, if they choose, to Kevin and Noura and so many others. She follows a wave of reform-minded D.A.s who have been elected in some of our biggest cities, as well as in rural areas in every region of the country, put in office to do nothing less than reinvent how their job is done. If they succeed, they can point the country toward a different and profoundly better future.
"Restorative justice theory has largely failed to keep pace with the rapid expansion of restorative practices worldwide – indeed, it is remarkable how much support RJ has when so few advocates can even define what it is. As such, this insightful and comprehensive new contribution from two of the top scholars on the frontlines of restorative justice research is hugely welcome."
Professor Shadd Maruna, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester

"Reimagining Restorative Justice is a reflective and balanced reconsideration of restorative justice. It deftly sweeps across the large literature on the subject, putting it in perspective, seeing anew through its wide-angle lens. Empowerment and accountability provide a fertile framework for this richly reimagined justice."
Professor John Braithwaite, Australian National University

"David O'Mahony and Jonathan Doak have made a significant contribution to the confusing and over-complicated field of restorative justice theory. They do so through their use of empowerment theory to bring conceptual and operational clarity to the concepts of agency and accountability in restorative processes and outcomes. As a result they develop a convincing argument for face to face dialogue between victim and perpetrator within the core of the criminal justice system. Their emphasis upon ethical and skilful practice is a welcome riposte to the rapid spread of 'restorative justice lite' driven by managerialism and the need to cut costs."
Tim Chapman, Lecturer at the University of Ulster.

"O'Mahony and Doak convincingly argue that rapid developments in the practice of restorative interventions have outstripped restorative justice theory. They provide both an outstandingly helpful review of the literature and a fresh theoretical approach based on empowerment theory. Everyone seriously interested in restorative justice will want to reflect carefully on the authors' conclusions."
Anthony Bottoms, Emeritus Wolfson Professor of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

In recent years, restorative-based interventions have expanded rapidly and are increasingly viewed as a legitimate, and even superior means of delivering justice. The result of this swift but piecemeal development has been that restorative justice practice has outpaced the development of restorative justice theory. This book takes up this challenge by 'reimagining' a new framework for the operation of restorative justice within criminal justice. In essence, it is contended that the core empowering values of 'agency' and 'accountability' provide a lens for reimagining how restorative justice works and the normative goals it ought to encompass.
In this book I have taken true life events that have actually occurred in my lifetime. My inspiration was about a real life game of Russian roulette. The last soul survivor of five young teenage boys was the one who told me his story. They did not all die from the actual playing of the game, but it did cause the boys a deep depression that took their lives, one by one. However, they did not all die the way my book describes. In fact, one of the boys deaths was context I used from a real incident that took place when I was growing up. He was my friend. This boy was being bullied by six other teenage boys. After beating him up and ramming his head through a plate glass window of the local paramount theater, he decided to end it all and jump in front of a train. Bullying is a serious matter that can effect young minds in ways that are so horrible, you might not fi nd out what is really going on with them, until it is too late. May Tommy rest in peace. But I could not end this book here. I believe that when something bad happens, there are always good things to fall in its place. So I threw a few twists into my writings. There is a forest on the outskirts of my home town that was declared the historical cottonwoods, in which I use as the setting for this book. Wandering through the forest one day, I discovered a rather large naturally hollowed out cottonwood tree. This is where one lucky boys adventures begin. The boys built a real working elevator inside the tree that would lead to the bottom of a two story tree house they also constructed. But it does not end there. A magical book of secrets reveals itself. In this book it tells the story about an underground city as it really happens. Inside the hollow of the tree and approximately ten feet below the surface, an underground elevator is activated, once the owner of the book comes forward. This will lead to a hallway full of doors, each leading to mystical places beyond your wildest dreams. At the end of the first hallway is a rather large room where all hallways begin. A hidden ceiling door slides open with a thunderous ear deafening screech. It is the glass bottom of the Fraser river, in which you are able to view underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Down one of the hallways there is a door to an ancient library that tells the history of the underground. It is referred to as the spell room. There is also another door that leads to the four seasons. A big wooden door separates the hallways full of doors from an underground city called the Packs. Inside this city is a rather unique arena where there is a hockey game like you have never seen before.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)
 
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
 
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves.

“The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • The Washington Post • Shelf Awareness • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Praise for How to Be an Antiracist

“Ibram X. Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . .  How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’ ”—NPR

“Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.”—Time
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