When you are retired there is more time to see and do things. This was a potentially dreary wet weekday. We have in the past been to see live presentations of theatre production. This time it was a newly released film. Just Mercy-
Starring Michael Jordan, Jamie Fox. It is the true story of Bryan Stephenson who was a graduate of Harvard Law School in 1985.
The film starts with him meeting a man Walter MacMillan who was serving on death row for murder of an 18 year old teenager in a local Dry Cleaners. We later discover that there were serious questions about the validity of this conviction.
What underlies this story is that of the fate of suspected criminals in the 1980/90s where the system did not seem to handle all cases with full impartiality. This was just one of the cases handled by the Equal Justice Initiative based in Montgomery Alabama. This was an initiative set up by Bryan Stevenson to offer a legal defence to anyone sentenced to the death penalty. According to Wikepedia at the time the state of Alabama was the only state to not offer a legal assistance to those on death row.
During the film there are several references to the Book “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee which is a classic novel dealing with these issues. This was apparently based nearby
It should be noted that Bryan Stephenson was from the black community and that Walter MacMillan was also coloured.
I will not write more as I would hope that this piece will encourage you to go and see the film.
The film certainly made me consider again what is taken for granted by so many and the impact of legal systems and their day to day application.
- Trailer Just Mercy you tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVQbeG5yW78
- Trailer Just Mercy You tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVJxMUqCUxs
- Brain Stevenson Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Stevenson
- To kill a mocking bird Harper Lee Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_a_Mockingbird