This isn’t my typical copy of tea as I rarely read non-fiction, but I am glad someone suggested it for our book club. This was a really tough read, but eye-opening regarding the prison system in the United States, and the many ways in which it is broken.
Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer who has chosen to spend his energy, and most of his life, fighting for the wrongly imprisoned, and/or wrongly convicted. The facts as written in this book is that if you are uneducated and poor, you have a much higher likelihood of a wrongful conviction or inappropriate harsh sanction. Though Stevenson focuses on the story of one man, and his fight for freedom, this book is filled with anecdotes about people who have been locked up and had the key thrown away for minor crimes, or for things they didn’t do.
The despair is heartbreaking, but even more poignant is when these people are able to have a glimmer of hope, or even see good in the world despite their situation. I read a lot, but it is rare for me to be so touched by literature, but one chapter in particular had me sobbing at the injustice.
I am, by personal definition, a tree-hugging bleeding heart liberal, but I think any person can learn something about compassion for fellow man by the life that Stevenson has led, and the stories that he tells.