Implementing Just Mercy
In his recent book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Alabama Equal Justice Initiative lawyer Bryan Stevenson describes the challenges and struggles of representing indigent individuals accused of serious crimes. In this book review, Professor Berry describes Stevenson’s book, highlighting the principles of just mercy latent in his narrative and their connection to the individualized consideration of criminal offenders. He then shifts to argue that many of the current shortcomings of the criminal justice system result directly from stigmatizing alleged offenders rather than considering them individually as people possessing human dignity. Finally, he outlines a series of criminal justice reforms drawn from Stevenson’s experiences and the concepts of individualized consideration that emerge from pursuing just mercy.