Just Mercy is a beautifully written and easily accessible story about a lawyer who defends “the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those trapped in the furthest reaches of our criminal justice system.” From children with life sentences to wrongful convictions based on race, the book explores the underbelly of the American system of criminal justice and raises questions that should make us all think more deeply about fairness and justice in our society.
Every area of the university can connect with this book in some way. Just Mercy creates the opportunity for discussions about civil rights, social activism, crime, equality, poverty, mental health issues and more. We hope that the text will also inspire our students to become even more deeply involved in community engagement projects.
The United States has the largest prison population on Earth, as well as the highest incarceration rate. Around forty thousand people are incarcerated in North Carolina alone. Moreover, as of 2013, 1 in 4 children are going hungry in North Carolina and approximately 20% of the population in Alamance County is living in poverty.