Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Stevenson’

‘Just Mercy’ – starring Michael B. Jordan as human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson – goes into premiere

December 26, 2019

in Heavy.com of 25he film Just Mercy – starring Michael B. Jordan as lawyer Bryan Stevenson – will be released nation-wide as from 10 January 2020.  The movie is based on Stevenson’s best-selling memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. [See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/03/20/equal-justice-initiative-founder-bryan-stevenson-winner-of-2019-thomas-dodd-prize/]

It tells the story of how the Harvard law graduated moved to Alabama in order to help inmates who were wrongly condemned as death row prisoners. The main court case in the film focuses on one of Stevenson’s first clients, Walter McMillian, aka “Johnny D.” who’s played by Jamie Foxx in the movie, a 41-year-old tree-trimmer who was charged for the 1986 murder of Ronda Morrison, a local white teenager.Stevenson’s story is lesson in justice, persistence, and pushing to do what’s lawfully right. McMillian was released from prison after seven years on death row, he passed away from early on-set Alzheimer’s in 2013. However, Stevenson is still very much alive, and still working as attorney for the Equal Justice Initiative, which he founded in 1989. As described on their official website, “EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” Stevenson, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, has helped release 135 wrongly accused prisoners sentenced to death.

We don’t see those kinds of stories very often and I think that’s created a void in our consciousness about what’s happening,” Stevenson told Delaware Online. “We have the highest rate of incarceration in the world and most people in this country have no knowledge of that. That lack of knowledge and that lack of compassion is what’s made us so vulnerable to the abuse that is on display in this story.

Over his career, Stevenson has earned 40 doctoral degrees, including those from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, and University of Pennsylvania. He’s also won a long list of awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize, the ABA medal, which is the American Bar Association’s highest honor, and the National Medal of Liberty from the American Civil Liberties Union. As a professor, he’s racked up even more hardware. In 2003, the SALT Human Rights Award was presented to Mr. Stevenson by the Society of American Law Teachers. In 2004, he received the Award for Courageous Advocacy from the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Lawyer for the People Award from the National Lawyers Guild. In 2006, New York University presented Mr. Stevenson with its Distinguished Teaching Award.

https://www.justmercyfilm.com/https://www.facebook.com/JustMercyFilm/

The Real-Life Bryan Stevenson Now: Where Is He Today?

 

 

Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson winner of 2019 Thomas Dodd Prize

March 20, 2019

Bryan Stevenson (Paul Robertson Photo)

The selection committee was singularly impressed by the commitment, courage, and creativity of Bryan Stevenson and his colleagues at the Equal Justice Initiative,” said Glenn Mitoma, Director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. “I look forward to welcoming Bryan and Equal Justice Initiative to UConn, both to honor them and to draw inspiration for our own work at the Dodd Center.”

Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has successfully argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a recent historic decision that found mandatory life-without-parole sentences for children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.

Under Stevenson’s direction, the organization has won major legal challenges to excessive sentencing and illegal convictions, including reversals, release, or relief for over 145 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. The group’s education and advocacy efforts include the Community Remembrance Project, which seeks to recognize the victims of lynching by erecting historical markers at lynching sites, and the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum. The museum and memorial are part of Equal Justice Initiative’s work to advance truth and reconciliation around race in America and to more honestly confront the legacy of slavery, lynching, and segregation.

Stevenson is the winer of at least6 other awards including the 2000 Gleitsman award and the Wallenberg medal [see also https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/11/07/human-rights-lawyer-bryan-stevenson-to-receive-michigans-wallenberg-medal/]

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/02/04/physicians-for-human-rights-gets-dodd-human-rights-award/

Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson to receive Michigan’s Wallenberg Medal

November 7, 2016

The University of Michigan’s 2016/17 Wallenberg Medal has been  awarded to civil rights lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson. He is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization he founded in 1989 that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States. EJI litigates on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. Under Stevenson’s direction, EJI has handled hundreds of cases and spared the lives of 125 death row prisoners. Stevenson’s arguments have convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that juveniles in non-homicide cases may not be sentenced to life without parole. He is creating a memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, to commemorate the more than 4,000 persons who were lynched in 12 southern states between 1871 and 1950.

Stevenson is a professor of law at New York University, where he prepares students to consider the legal needs of those in resource-deprived regions. He has been a visiting professor of law at the U-M Law School. He wrote the prize-winning book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” and has won numerous awards and honors, including Reebok Award (1989), the Gleitsman Award (2000). the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award Prize, the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, the Olaf Palme Prize for international human rights (2000), the Gruber Prize for International Justice (2009) and the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award.

Raoul Wallenberg was a 1935 graduate of U-M’s College of Architecture. As a Swedish diplomat Wallenberg saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews near the end of World War II.

NOTE: There are at least two other awards with Wallenberg in the title:

  • Raoul Wallenberg Prize (Council of Europe )
  • Raoul Wallenberg and Civic Courage Awards (USA), and there is
  • the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Lund, Sweden)

The ceremony for Stevenson will take place on 7 March, 2017; after the medal presentation, Stevenson will give the 25th Wallenberg Lecture.

Source: Lawyer, activist Bryan Stevenson to receive Wallenberg Medal | The University Record