MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you have not yet seen the movie Just Mercy which poignantly details Bryan Stevenson’s fight for justice for those who have not received it, go now- it is a must-see film.
What you will learn from this movie is how Bryan Stevenson, an African American Harvard Law Graduate came to Alabama for the sole purpose of helping people on death row at Holman Prison in Monroeville.
Through his Equal Justice Initiative efforts, he and his legal team took on the blatant racist driven injustices of those incarcerated African Americans who could not afford legal counsel and suffered dearly solely because of the color of their skin. What these victims endured as well as Mr. Stevenson and his staff is downright despicable, and yet he prevails.
Bryan Stevenson chose to build the Equal Justice Initiative headquarters here in Montgomery where their sole purpose is to represent those who have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial. They also guarantee the defense of anyone in Alabama in a death penalty case.
Add to that Bryan, has built the Legacy Museum, the National Museum for Peace and Justice and most recently the Legacy Pavilion. I walked away from the movie deeply disturbed by our past and yet feeling blessed that Bryan Stevenson and EJI exists to help others.
We are also blessed for his efforts in bringing hope for Montgomery’s future while also showcasing our city’s tumultuous past.
Bryan Stevenson is a national treasure and we should be honored to have him here as our neighbor.