Review: Bryan Stevenson’s ‘Just Mercy’

November 30, 2014 12:55 AM

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Review: Bryan Stevenson’s ‘Just Mercy’

U.S. criminal justice sometimes seems more criminal than just — replete with error, malfeasance, racism and cruel, if not unusual, punishment, coupled with stubborn resistance to reform and failure to learn even from its most-glaring mistakes. And nowhere, let us pray, are matters worse than in the hard Heart of Dixie, aka Alabama, the adopted stomping ground of Bryan Stevenson, champion of the damned.

Just Mercy is an easy read, a work of style, substance and clarity. Mixing commentary and reportage, he adroitly juxtaposes triumph and failure, neither of which is in short supply, against an unfolding backdrop of the saga of Walter McMillian, an innocent black Alabaman sentenced to death for the 1...

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