In 1983, Bryan Stevenson was an intern with the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (now known as the Southern Center for Human Rights). Twenty-three and newly graduated from college, he did not know that he was about to embark on a career that would save the lives of many innocent people.
Bryan’s first case was working with a man named Henry. All Bryan needed to do on their initial meeting was impart the knowledge that the SPDC was working on his case and that no execution date would be set in the next year. He had no idea how this news, which still seemed so bleak and harsh, would reanimate Henry and give him a spark of hope. That original encounter propelled Bryan to start 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.
When Bryan started working on Walter McMillian’s case, he is pulled into a world of cover-ups, conspiracies, politically motivated lies, and legal limitations. And he begins to learn how mercy and justice are the antithesis to these challenges.
Just Mercy is available in our Adult Non-Fiction, as a Young Adult adaptation. The movie came out in 2019 and a Netflix documentary follows Bryan’s career and the the future of the Equal Justice Initiative.
Please check out Bryan Stevenson’s work today!