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The Life of Civil Rights Hero Bryan Stevenson

Legendary civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson has saved more than 135 wrongly convicted prisoners on death row. He's the subject of a new documentary that looks at racism in the criminal justice system — this is his story. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality debuts on June 26th on HBO.

Stevenson has gone from a death row lawyer to a major public figure.

Giving a voice to the voiceless and challenging bias in the criminal justice system is key to the career of civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson. Born in 1959, he grew up in Milton, southern Delaware. He went to Eastern College before attending Harvard Law School. After graduating in 1985, he decided to move to Montgomery, Alabama — home of the highest per capita rate of death penalty sentencing — to become a public defender.

“I don't believe that the opposite of poverty is wealth. I believe that the opposite of poverty is justice. And when we do justice, we deconstruct the conditions that give rise to poverty. I don't think we've created many places in America where we tell the history of slavery or the history of lynching the history of segregation. In a way that motivates everybody black, white, brown, young, old. to feel inspired to say, “Never again”, says Trey Ellis, Executive Producer HBO documentary True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality.

In 1989, Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). It guarantees legal representation to death row inmates. With EJI, Stevenson has saved more than 135 wrongly convicted prisoners on death row, including Walter McMillian, who was wrongly convicted for the murder of a white woman in Monroeville, Alabama, and Anthony Ray Hinton, who was held on death row for 28 years.

Stevenson has won multiple cases at the Supreme Court, such as the 2012 landmark case Miller v. Alabama, that ended life sentences without parole for all minors. In February 2019, he won a key ruling protecting condemned prisoners who have dementia. In 2018, EJI opened the first national memorial to black lynching victims and The Legacy Museum, which chronicle the legacy of slavery and its connection to mass incarceration.

Stevenson has gone from a death row lawyer to a major public figure.

Brut.

06/27/2019 9:06 PMupdated: 06/27/2019 9:18 PM
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13 comments

  • Rawan H.
    06/27/2019 21:09

    We need more love and peace to create in our lives

  • Anne W.
    06/27/2019 21:39

    One of the underpinnigs of racism is people feeling they are better than anyone else, which is a sure condition of not feeling okay with yourself, deep down. The task of making sure everyone loves himself enough to give love to everyone else is a huge spiritual one. We are trying.

  • Brut
    06/27/2019 22:29

    For more on Bryan Stevenson and the new documentary: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bryan-stevenson-we-are-all-complicit-in-our-countrys-history-of-racism/

  • Tim L.
    07/01/2019 03:19

    Wrongly accused should have a day in court with the man or men that was responsible putting him in jail. There should be no Statute limitation on those that did him wrong.

  • Steve G.
    07/05/2019 14:44

    Bryan is an old friend of mine. For most of professional life who lived very modestly so he could the majority of his money to help others. He is such an eloquent speaker who truly speaks from the heart. If you want hear a great American speak watch his HBO special.

  • Bernard C.
    07/08/2019 23:27

    america will not experience true prosperity until justice is the same for ALL

  • Omar M.
    07/09/2019 02:36

    Thank u brah

  • Traceywhosthatlady T.
    07/14/2019 06:23

    Such an inspiration to all mankind. Great Man

  • Leslie S.
    07/15/2019 03:23

    God is. Our. Judge

  • Sharon G.
    07/15/2019 07:13

    Documentary was unique & eye catching.

  • George H.
    07/20/2019 19:23

    AMEN THAT'S A FACT

  • Bobbie P.
    07/25/2019 05:04

    Loved the documentary...watched it on HBO.

  • Larry D.
    07/28/2019 19:12

    👀