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Just Mercy
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Named a Book of the Year by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Esquire, and Time

About the Author

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death-row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI has won relief for 115 death-row prisoners illegally convicted or sentenced, and it recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson's work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal-justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 15 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of Just Mercy.

Reviews

'Bryan Stevenson is America's young Nelson Mandela - a brilliant lawyer fighting with courage and conviction to guarantee justice for all.'

-- Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

'From the frontlines of social justice comes one of the most urgent voices of our era. Bryan Stevenson is a real-life, modern-day Atticus Finch who, through his work in redeeming innocent people condemned to death, has sought to redeem the country itself. This is a book of great power and courage. It is inspiring and suspenseful. A revelation.'

-- Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Sons

'Just Mercy is as deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty, and the failures of the administration of criminal justice ... [It] will make you gasp at the inhumanity of humankind.'

-- Raymond Bonner * Financial Times *

'Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.'

-- Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

`This is so important. Stevenson explains how deep-rooted racism is, while giving hope that it doesn't have to exist.'

-- Gloria Steinem

'Our American criminal justice system has become an instrument of evil. Bryan Stevenson has labored long and hard, and with great skill and temperate passion, to set things right. Words such as important and compelling may have lost their force through overuse, but reading this book will restore their meaning, along with one's hopes for humanity.'

-- Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains

'Powerful ... This book will shock, anger and inspire you.'

* Sunday Independent (Ireland) *

'Unfairness in the justice system is a major theme of our age ... This book brings new life to the story by placing it in two affecting contexts: Stevenson's life work and the deep strain of racial injustice in American life ... You don't have to read too long to start cheering for this man. Against tremendous odds, Stevenson has worked to free scores of people from wrongful or excessive punishment, arguing five times before the Supreme Court ... The book extols not his nobility, but that of the cause, and reads like a call to action for all that remains to be done ... The message of the 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 ... Bryan Stevenson has been angry about [the criminal justice system] for years, and we are all the better for it.'

* New York Times *

'After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., I wrote a couple of columns entitled When Whites Just Don't Get It. The reaction to those columns - sometimes bewildered, resentful or unprintable - suggests to me that many whites in America don't understand the depths of racial inequity lingering in this country. This inequity is embedded in our law enforcement and criminal justice system, and that is why Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America's Mandela ... Stevenson, 54, grew up in a poor black neighborhood in Delaware and ended up at Harvard Law School. He started the Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Ala., to challenge bias and represent the voiceless. It's a tale he recounts in a searing, moving and infuriating memoir that is scheduled to be published later this month, Just Mercy.'

-- Nick Kristof * New York Times *

'Stevenson's contributions to social justice have been remarkable. But his efforts, on top of his continuing legal practice, to provide this inside glimpse of the criminal justice system are priceless.'

* The Seattle Times *

'Not since Atticus Finch has a fearless and committed lawyer made such a difference in the American South. Though larger than life, Atticus exists only in fiction. Bryan Stevenson, however, is very much alive and doing God's work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast, and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.'

-- John Grisham
New York Times '100 Notable Books of 2014'

'Stevenson reveals how much of a difference believing in someone and fighting their cause can make. An incredible story ... may help fuel the fire on your own journey.'

* Wellbeing *

`The compelling story of the legal practice he [Stevenson] founded to protect the rights of people on the margins of American society ... Emotionally profound, necessary reading.' STARRED REVIEW * Kirkus *

`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, defence lawyers, legislators, academics, journalists - and especially anyone contemplating a career in criminal justice.'

* The Washington Post *

`This powerful book is a damning indictment of the US "justice" system, which has the world's highest rate of incarceration ... A gifted narrator as well as a great lawyer, from his long dedication to helping the poor to achieve justice and mercy, he has learned that "each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done.'

* The Irish Times *

`[A] passionate rallying cry for people, especially those in law enforcement, to employ more just mercy in dealing with offenders ... A must-read for anyone in the field of criminal justice and for fans of true crime.'

* Library Journal *

`A passionate account of the ways our nation thwarts justice and inhumanely punishes the poor and disadvantaged.' STARRED REVIEW * Booklist *

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