Just Mercy and Bryan Stevenson (quadruple participation)

 

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14 comments

  1. Bryan Stevenson has very strong and effective personality, am surprised of his brilliant speech. In his talk he focused on identity and the super power he has in lecturing. He talked about how identity inspire people to do unbelievable things. I think the greatest thing about him that he trust him self and care a lot about the poverty cause and it relation with law. For example, poor people having always big deal with their problems When they involved in a trial court, but on the other hand rich people don’t.

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  2. I love listening to Bryan Stevenson’s speeches, talks, and interviews because of the (com)passion and conviction with which he speaks. He represents the minority of the American population who isn’t part of the group cheering for “tough on crime” laws and speeches and the “three strikes” rule and other “tough all-American” rhetoric that has become all too common. The problem with those laws and the attitudes and opinions which support them is this idea that poverty and criminality are one in the same. The prejudice that if you make under a certain threshold per year, you must be involved in some sort of criminal activities or lean towards a life of criminality. Along with just targeting the poor, this prejudice dually targets minorities because of our country’s history of prejudice and racism leading to them making up the majority of the people living at or below the poverty line. As he has been quoted many times saying, our “justice” system treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than poor and innocent. Its even worse if you’re poor and a minority because of the “black criminal” or minority criminal stereotype being held in the minds of the same rich white people that hold the pen that writes laws like “three strikes” and such. Because the rich people who write laws tend to believe in this narrative of America being a meritocracy, they associate poverty with laziness and see funding public defenders as paying money out of pocket to help support the laziness of the poor minority “criminals” and don’t think it’s their problem. What Stevenson is calling for in these videos is for people to try and take a step back from their prejudice and stereotyping and “tough on crime” attitudes and realize that the system and policies we have in place now are doing more harm than good in the long run for not only these individuals but our society as a whole and that if we want to fix this we need to begin by realizing people are more than the worst thing they’ve every done and that we need to move our system and policy writing away from a position of adversarial “tough on crime” thinking and stop using our prisons as place to dump “undesirables” in an “out of sight out of mind” fashion back to the system of rehabilitation and justice that it was originally meant to be to prevent unjust deaths and treatment as well as to prevent the alienation and marginalization of those who find themselves in the defendants seat.

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  3. I love how Bryan Stevenson talks and the way he presents himself. I often watch him speak and realize I personally want to be able to public speak as he does. The way he holds himself is incredible and that is how he wants us to see him. In the first video, he speaks of identity and how we hold ourselves and others. Along with that, he speaks of the justice system and how we hold those incarcerated to a certain kind of persona. What really surprised me was that we are the only country in the world to incarcerate and have the death sentence for 13-year-old children. This shows us how the US truly values its citizens but mostly the poor. The second video is talking mostly about Bryan’s court cases and how he went about injustice and some examples. The most intreging thing I heard during this video was how some of the lawyers appointed dislike their own defendent. It is truly shocking how many hate their clients and if this system is truly fair to the poor.

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  4. Bryan Stevenson is a modern day hero. I say this because he stands up for injustice and discrimination as he mentioned in the video about the 14 year old who is being tried as an adult. Bryan thought to himself that if the judge can label a 14 year old as an adult why cant the judge treat this 14 year old as a 75 year old a rich corporate executive. The results of the case would be extremely different. Bryan Stevenson is also one of the most determined person I have seen, he stayed away from alcohol for 52 years that may not seem like a big deal compared to his other achievements but a man who can say no to alcohol for 52 years throughout college and his young stages of life, that is something special. Bryan also always takes the hardest cases that not a lot of lawyer want to pick up. Bryan chooses the death penalties, life without patrol cases which shows you that he isn’t in it for the money but really to help African Americans get justice and fair treatment. He also talks about how our criminal justice system is corrupt in which they treat the rich and privileged a lot better than the poor and privileged. He uses examples in which 1 out of the 9 people killed by the death penalty is innocent compares it to if 1 out of 9 airplanes that took off one would crash would we take the same risk? He also says sometimes the lawyer you hirer to defend your case doesn’t really like you so they wont do everything in their power to help you rather just take the easy way out. In a lot of Bryan Stevenson’s speeches he shows us that their is hope even if the situation seems hopeless. If you really try your best you will get some kind of award for it even if it isnt what you wanted but every step you took to improve the situation is a learning experience.

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  5. Bryan Stevenson talks and the way he presents himself very strong and effective personality person that the world needs. He stands up for injustice and discrimination.The way he holds himself is incredible and that is how he wants us to see him. In the first video, he speaks of identity and how we hold ourselves and others. He also talks about how our criminal justice system is corrupt in which they treat the rich and privileged a lot better than the poor and privileged. He uses examples in which 1 out of the 9 people killed by the death penalty. And alsoI think the greatest thing about him that he trust him self and care a lot about the poverty cause and it relation with law. For example, poor people having always big deal with their problems.

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  6. I had the opportunity to hear Bryan Stevenson talk when he came to Beasley. I really enjoyed listening to him speak. He not only talked about the things he was doing to help people on death row, but he gave everyone 4 things that they could do to come up with solutions with problems they are concerned about. In the first video he even gives people of California a chance to vote for a referendum that would redirect money being spent on the death penalty to it being spent on law enforcement and safety. In the first video he brings up a very good point in saying that we will not be judged as a society by out technology or design, but in the way we treat the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. We cannot be fully evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic dignity. We must not let the system of justice in our nation be distorted by race or by poverty. In Germany there is no death penalty after their history involving genocide. He explains how could he live in a world where they have systematic killing, and the majority of the people being Jewish. Yet in America we have the death penalty, where you are 22 times more likely of getting the death penalty if the victim is white and the defendant is black. In poor communities 1 in 3 men from ages of 18 to 30 are either in jail, prison, on parole, or on probation. What Bryan Stevenson has done and is continuing to do is a great thing and he inspires many people to think about these issues and hopefully take action.

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  7. I see Bryan Stevenson as a modern day Martin Luther King Jr. The he portrays himself, and how passionate he really is about bringing justice to the people who really deserve it is amazing. It is sad to hear some of the statistics he talked about, such as the ones about the percentages of children who will be sexually assaulted in prison. I think if more of the world were to listen to Bryan’s talks, things could start to change. It seems ridiculous that we could reduce the prison populations by half and still keep city streets safe from real criminals. The war on drugs is just a becoming a garbage disposal for our nations tax payers. Although drugs are bad, it does not seem right to take away a persons constitutional rights and liberties for being in possession of marijuana as an example, that is now legal in some states. The judicial system is in dire need of change. If it was an honest and true system to the constitution of the United States of America, then the tables would be turned. It would not matter if you were rich, famous, the son or daughter of a famous person. Just like Bryan Stevenson said “the opposite of poverty, is justice”, after hearing all of the facts presented by him in his talks, that statement is completely true. I hope that we, as a nation, start to realize what we are doing, and do something about it.

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  8. If you think America’s justice system is fair, think again. Bryan Stevenson has spent his life trying to right the horrible wrongs our justice system has inflicted on people. People who also happen to be poor and/or people of color. Bryan Stevenson is my new personal hero. His dedication to helping others is immeasurable. His message that we Americans need to show a little mercy on our fellow Americans is one that needs to spread throughout the country. Bryan Stevenson is a fantastic and influential public speaker.

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  9. I like the way how Bryan Stevenson express all his words, he is inspirational for me, because he knew what he wanted to do and he did it, it is amazing how he transmits his energy to people and I will like to be like him. In the first video, he speaks of identity and how we hold ourselves and others. Also the talks about the justice system in America, is very different and corrupt with privilege to treat people with a lot of money compared to the poor and needy, he don’t really care if people have enough money or not, he just help to have the same opportunities for everybody. I love the way as does not look at the difference in money and how he believes in himself. A great example to follow.

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  10. I’m very thankful that i learned about Bryan Stevenson and the criminal justice system in my first year of college. Criminal justice and prisoners on death row was something I thought I never would be interested in. I had no idea that living in a certain area can raise your chance of going to jail. I always had some idea that the color of one’s skin would be a factor in getting locked up, but I was appalled with the statistics given in lecture by Dr. Leonard, Bryan Stevenson’s talks, and common reading events. Stevenson’s talks make me think. His ways of delivering his ideas and educating his audience are definitely moving. He talks about the issues in our criminal justice system, that no one really thinks about. I’ve realized that these issues are out of sight, and out of mind too much. That needs to change. Something i will always remember is a quote from Stevenson, he says: “In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice”. That quote is the most real thing i’ve heard in a very long time.

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  11. When Bryan Stevenson says “should people die for the crimes they commit” i thought back to all the times i have read kids and people being put on death row and i asked myself is it justified? I think that people’s lives have no more meaning because it is so easy for people to take a life without hesitation but it is just as easy for a judge to throw a life away also. Our Criminal Justice is so broken that we will send a young teenager to his death for accidentally killing someone, all because the victims family want “justice”. i just think people need to really think about how precious a life is and really evaluate if we should be able to have the power to take someones life.

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  12. Bryan Stevenson is an incredible man. He is one of the most powerful speakers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to in person. He speaks about the same idea and ideals no matter what platform he is being presented at. Let it be his TED talk from above or from here in Pullman just two weeks ago, Stevenson spreads the common idea of justice stretching among all corners of the U.S. and preaches about staying true to yourself and how that gives you true strength.

    The way Stevenson talks about his personal experiences compared to what “normal” people go through shows his genius as a public speaker and just how powerful he is. His influence is undoubtedly felt by all who actively seek out his knowledge and lectures. When trying to explain the comparison between death row inmates and planes it struck the audience as very relatable and something that people could tangibly see happening to them compared to being an inmate in their own right. It showed just how scary it can be that one in every nine inmates on death row are found to be innocent. Comparing that to the possibility of our government letting airports function if we knew one i every nine planes would crash is truly genius because it brings the relatability factor of something as rash as prison to the level of a normal citizen who has never committed a felony. It makes us, the audience, question why our criminal justice system is as unbalanced and unfair to convicts especially when it comes down to something as important as someones life.

    This man is truly inspirational. Personally I find it hard to listen to someone who could be put on a high standing pedestal because of their experience and accomplishments because I believe in shaping our ideals and morals on much more than one factor you experience in your life. Bryan Stevenson proved me wrong in that way through because he showed me that you should never let discouragement stop you from making the change you see in the world become a true reality. He makes people care about what he is talking about, the criminal justice system in the United States, and makes them want it do something about it too. I believe that is the most powerful tool he has to offer. The power of persuasion and pure, unbridled intelligence that cannot be matched in his field of work. He is making the change he wants to see in the world finally a reality.

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    1. Additionally, speaking on the criminal justice system Stevenson is saying is so broken, I believe that there needs to be serious change in our laws and how this system as a whole is run. It is a question that we have to ask in that, who are we to take away another human beings life? No matter what crime they had committed. The system is one that needs to see more people like Stevenson exist all across the country to counteract these racial and ignorant decisions put forth by an outdated system that ruins lives.

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