The book “”Just Mercy”” focuses on justice in American. The book is writing by Bryan Stevenson a guy who graduated from college with a degree in philosophy then later figured out philosophy wasn’t really too much for him so he deiced to go to law school to focus more of the racial in the justice system. In the middle of his career he went deep south where he met a lot of people on death row that were dying for legally assistance.
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These people on death row had no money, no lawyers, who cases showed a lot of truth about the American justice system when it comes people who are black and brown. The justice only treats you fairly if you are rich and guilty then if you are poor and innocent.
Throughout this book Bryan Stevenson talks about vary of stories while he was deep south most of them were juveniles cases. These were colored individuals who were put in jail and sentenced to death where culture in the Juvenile justice system is focused on punishment over rehabilitation. Juveniles are often exposed to abusive members of society, and at best they learn to be better conformists to a system whose by-product is both juvenile delinquents on the one side, and war profiteers and corporate criminals on the other. The juvenile justice system is just another symptom of a society that is deeply broken.
The first case that was mentioned in the book “”Just Mercy”” was Terrance Graham. Graham was 16 years old from Jacksonville, Florida. Terrance was on probation when he was accused of trying to rob a store. The judge then revoked his probation and sentenced him to die in prison. A juvenile being sentence to die in prison isn’t what you see often. Being that Terrance was a young black male the judge figured he could make a example out of him. No juvenile should be sentence to die in prison for violation of probation and trying to rob a store. Terrence seems to be a lost young black male, which means he needs help; putting him back into the system and sentencing him to death isn’t helping. The system needs to find more ways of trying to help the juveniles instead of putting them into these categories with criminal who do need to be sentence with these types of punishments.
Another case was Charlie who was 14 years old. Charlie killed a man named George by his own account. George was an alcoholic, abusive and beats Charlie’s mother mercilessly. One night playing cards he hits Charlie’s mother she falls unconscious and bleeding badly on the floor; after seeing how much blood was around his mother, he goes to their bathroom and find George’s gun which is under the Auburn University T-shirt goes over to sleeping George and shoots him in the head. Charlie was in adult prison where in was sexually assaulted by older imamates. The problem with this case is that Charlie shouldn’t be in adult prison for a crime in which he was trying to save his mother. Any person today wouldn’t do anything to save their mother’s life even if it meant taking another.
The Last case in the book “”Just Mercy”” was about Joe Sullivan is young black male who is a 13-year old from Florida with metal disabilities. Joe experienced serious physical abuse by his father, had suffered severe neglect and was homeless for years. Michael Gulley and Nathan McCants convince him to accompany them when they broke into a empty house of Lena Bruner in Pensacola, Florida. Joe is later convicted of raping Lena Bruner with little evidence and condemned to die in prison. Joe also uses a wheelchair; when correctional officers could not get his wheelchair out of the cage, they to put him on his side like a young child. The issue wrong with is case is that Joe is a young black male who violently rapes a middle-age white women which is the reason why he is sentenced to die in prison. But if you look at the facts of Joe how can he violently rape a woman when he has mental disabilities and uses a wheelchair; this just doesn’t seem too accurate for him to do alone. I believe that Joe was pressured into doing this and the others brought him with them so they could easily put the blame on someone. If anything Michael Gulley would be a better fit for the rape of the woman. Gulley had a extensive criminal history with at least one sexual offense. Another problem with this case is how can the justice system sentence a juvenile with mental disabilities to death in prison. I believe this to be a cruel and usual punishment for a juvenile. They can already see that the he’s in a wheelchair, now how is Joe supposed to get around the prison. There was already a problem where the officers couldn’t get his wheelchair out the cage and they had to lay him down like a young child. Someone higher up should’ve pulled some types of strings and try to get Joe transferred to a better prison so they could assist him with these stimulations, But we live in a world today where they rather make example of a young black and brown males.
In conclusion, there are definitely bad sides to the juvenile justice system. I think that there are a lot of flaws and issues right now in regards to the juvenile justice system. One of those things are how a person’s age can affect what a verdict is regardless of the fact that they are all juveniles. Most certainty it takes them out of school and without an education in this world; it is extremely hard to survive. Secondly, it does not seem to be rehabilitation oriented. Rather, it seems to be more focused on treating them like they are nothing.
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