Just Mercy and Mass incarceration

Just did “book club” with my class yesterday using Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.  It went great.  You should strongly consider reading it.  Not only is Stevenson an indefatigable advocate for justice, he is a great writer and compelling storyteller.  At least read this great take on his work in the NY Review of Books.  Or watch his excellent TED talk and be inspired.  I love this conclusion from David Cole’s review of the book (as well as another on Mass Incarceration):

If mass incarceration is to end, it won’t be because courts declare it unconstitutional. It will instead require the public to come to understand, as the National Academies report found, that our policies are inefficient, wasteful, and counterproductive. And it will require us to admit, as Bryan Stevenson’s stories eloquently attest, that our approach to criminal law is cruel and inhumane. Mass incarceration is one of the most harmful practices we as a society have ever adopted, but as Stevenson would say, we are all better than the worst thing we have ever done.

Absolutely.  Let’s make it happen, America.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Just Mercy and Mass incarceration

  1. Jon K. says:

    I needed some good book ideas for my traveling this weekend. I love that Audible has just about every book that has a large printing available as unabridged audio. This wasn’t the case about 5 years ago before Amazon bought the company. Professional narration beats making my own audiobook via text to speech software hands down. I don’t know how I ever read anything before digital books and audiobooks became commonplace. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought, or read, a paper book. I even converted my textbooks to digital and audio when I was in college using those awesome book scanners in the library. You can actually digitize a 300 page book in about 15 minutes using one of those scanners.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to Just Mercy. I just have to decide now whether I start that one or the final book in Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy. It is a tough call.

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