Book Review by Mickie Dann, member of the ‘Reading across the Pond’ group at the Second Air Division Memorial Library.
This book, written by a gifted lawyer, who specialises in the defence of the underdogs of USA society, was the favourite read of the year for many in our book group.
Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, skilfully interweaves the true story of innocent Walter McMillian, whom he met in Death Row in Alabama, with his own professional development and experience of prejudice. Bryan Stevenson has dedicated his life to drawing attention to the inequalities in justice for people of colour and the poor.
The book’s appeal rests on the author’s ability to engage the reader through a conversational style and descriptions of the prisoners, circumstances leading to their incarceration and the effects on their families. Stevenson manages to provide sufficient explanation within the text to allow the layperson to understand the basics of legal procedures while maintaining the pace of the narrative. At the end there is a lengthy additional chapter of detailed research notes and sources which substantiate this eminent lawyer’s claims. A book which will shock, enrage and provoke discussion for those interested in a fair society.