In our infant stages one of the first things we are taught is morals, and what is right and wrong. We soon learn that it isn't fair to be treated or looked upon a certain way without justification; history has many unique ways of upholding this. Theodore Roosevelt once brilliantly said, "Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong." and the book Just Mercy, written by Bryan Stevenson a graduate of Harvard Law school, dissects president Roosevelt's assertion into an equivocal perspective by using personal experiences, scholarly research, and credible allegations. It appears that justice, however, is in fact a learned trait and that it can only be granted when discovered, for you can be unjust and not realize it.
Unfortunately there is an unjust system in abundance within court rooms and law scripts all over the country, to an extent that those like Stevenson only feel obligated to reach out and assist the struggling field. Only after being exposed to criminals on death row with the absence of lawyers to defend himself did Stevenson find his purpose in his involvement in the field saying, "We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. ... The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, more I believe it's necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, and ... some measure of unmerited grace." (Stevenson, 7) Stevenson believes that every person holds a responsibility, when given the chance to help correct a flaw in society, to speak up, take action and assist a movement that will ultimately advance man kind. This reflects earlier teachings by Martin Luther King Jr. as he calls upon action within the black community during the Vietnam War movement saying, "There comes a time when silence is betrayal," as well as, "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict." The take away is that when needed, your help is "required" in order to create a force that arms response.
The "we need more" mentality persists specifically in the law field, even though its very difficult to become a lawyer. According to the BREI Law Firm, the importance of lawyers is that all human beings are equal, and each person deserves an equal opportunity to receive legal justice. Because lawyers are readily available to people across the United States, people have a decent chance at accessing the justice that is due to them, and similarly this is what inspired Stevenson has he literally saved the lives of people who would be sentenced to death not even months later. Without this, a feeling of sorrow defeat and brokenness would thrive in the lives of the prisoners. A lawer's action and initiative helps relieve this brokenness as Stevenson asserts, "We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent…The ways in which [we] suffer and ... our shared brokenness connect[s] us.” (Stevenson, 289) We see that it is in more ways than one that we can bond with those in pain, and helping them isn't very challenging.
Our call to action, as Stevenson believes, is one of the highest priorities in the continuation of a harmonized society. We must become bold and brave to deter big issues, and only then will we realize our connections and similarities that bond us so.
BooksStevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy. Spiegel & Grau October 21, 2014
BREI Law Firm: http://www.breilaw.com/featured/why-are-lawyers-important/ Accessed 11, April 2018.