Just Mercy

Just Mercy Summary

#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 Mercyis 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

Book Reviews


An absolute “must read”.5 star

This story is a deep dive into the struggle of racial inequality. It brings a very human story and very real insight to the discussion of pervasive systemic racism in America. It keeps you fully engaged, at the age of your seat and leaves you somehow both enraged and hopeful. To anyone who has the gall and ignorance to proclaim “racism is dead” - I wish they would read this book.55


Disingenuous1 star

Popular title, worthless content.15

Duck lover 27

Why Hollywood1 star

Stop trying to make the next forest gump gosh15

Rashea Johnson

Awesome Book.5 star

I love the book from beginning to end. I’ve also made both my children read it. My 18 year old soon and my 13 year old daughter. Once they’ve read it, it gave them a clear understanding of how our legal system is ran SMDH. We Can’t wait to see the movie. Rashaa Johnson55


Not worth the read1 star


Richard Bakare

Fighting to Live5 star

In every sector of American Life we are becoming more and more disconnected from our neighbors. That disconnect finds its way into bad policies that only further widens the gulf. This book illustrates how that disconnect leads to a disastrous human toll and the cruelest injustices in the legal system. This book, The 13th, The New Jim Crow, and many others often leave me gutted of hope at one end, and tearfully joyful for the few stories where things do work out. Everyone needs to hear these stories and truths of where we fail each other. Everyone needs to ask themselves why do we destroy each other so ruthlessly? Everyone needs to ask themselves, am I really safer when a miscarriage of justice is allowed to go unchecked? The sad thing is that Mr. Stevenson’s memoir highlights one key blinding point in modern society. It costs us more to uphold systems of racial and socio-economic divide, then it would if we provided the resources and funding to education, mental health, and social safety nets. If we did those things, then we would be truly safer.55

pirates and a mermaid

Everyone should read this5 star

Relevant, important and eye-opening.55


Absolutely amazing5 star

This book was amazing from start to finish. It really brings out how the world views “convicted felons” when they are really innocent. Love the work he is doing and can’t wait to see the movie.55

f buckley stick

Just Mercy5 star

Powerful, moving.55


Read NOW5 star

Great book. So glad I read this. Can’t wait to see the movie 👍🏾55

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