CJS 431 University of Nairobi Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson Book Report

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CJS 431



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As you all know, as part of this class you are required to read either Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson or The Innocent Man by John Grisham and submit a book report by the end of the semester. It is your choice which book you read (note that if you are taking both CJS 430 and 431 from me this semester you must read both). For the book report I would like you to use the following guidelines: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson As you read Just Mercy, note that you will complete a 3-5 page written review of the book as follows: The criminal justice system is only as strong and just as its weakest component. Considering the seven components listed below, list examples of how each component failed or succeeded in the conviction of Walter McMillian. Components: (1) Police—Investigation (2) Prosecution and Witnesses (3) Defense counsel (4) Trial judge (5) Jury (6) State appellate courts (7) Federal courts Finally, in a few paragraphs, describe your reactions to the events portrayed in the book.
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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Institution Affiliation

It is no longer arguable that our criminal justice system is inefficient, costly, flawed, and
racist and that it erroneously convicts and executes the completely innocent. That, in and of
itself, is a remarkable shift in public opinion since the 1980s, when roughly eight out of ten
Americans supported the death sentence, and one Alabama gubernatorial candidate campaigned
on a promise to "cook them until their eyeballs fall out." The US prison industrial complex,
riddled with racial and class prejudices, also wrecks the lives of millions more mostly
impoverished, hated, and treated minorities unfairly, resulting in the world's second-highest
incarceration rate. Only the Seychelles have a larger overall prison population than any other
country on the planet, vastly outnumbering the much larger China.
Since 1973, courts have been compelled to liberate 156 plainly innocent victims, which
mainly belonged to America's experiment with death punishment, despite intense and
occasionally savage opposition from prosecutors and police. While it's hard to say how many
genuine people have been killed by the government, studies have discovered 13 people who were
murdered despite their apparent innocence (Hanink, 2018). Evidence that Texas murdered or,
perhaps mor...

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