Our justice system is broken. Racism, lies, media, discrimination against the poor, corrupt officials, wrongly condemned souls. There are irreparable fissures and fractures that have come to define the judiciary. Sometimes white lies and nothings fall through these cracks, but sometimes, it's people. It's families. It's children. Leaving them broken.
The people who need justice are broken, just as those who need condemnation are broken. Broken in different ways, yes, but hurting all the same.
Bryan Stevenson saw this when he created the Equal Justice Initiative. He dedicated his life to defending those whose lives are crumbling away because of the events of a faulty courtroom. He has defended women that, simply because they have no money or status, were seen as unfit to be mothers. He defended men that had mental illness or retardation and were sent to the electric chair because the ways their minds wroked were not understood. He extensively discusses his work fighting for the redemption of Walter McMillian, a black man on death row for a murder he didn't commit because the officials needed a man of color to criminalize. He details this all through his writings in Just mercy; the things he's seen, the faults he's fixed, and the lives he was not able to save.
Bryan admits to his own brokenness, too, when realizing that humanity is simply a sinking vessel filled with people trying to drown other passengers just so they don't drown themselves. But he recognizes that Christ gave him the mercy he didn't deserve, and he knew he must show that mercy in a world that ever so lacks it. He knew mercy was what could end the brokenness he saw in every trial, every story, every person.
It is heartbreaking, it is frustrating, and it is, in itself, broken, but it is the story that this generation needs to hear. It tells of the love and understanding we lack, and reveals the prejudice and lies we refuse to let go. In it all, it holds hope. Hope that there are people like Bryan. Hope that justice is still sought for the most painful cases. Hope for overcoming the brokenness, and for turning to mercy.