SUMMARY: A true story about America’s criminal justice system and how it treats people of color, the poor, the wrongly convicted, and the wrongly condemned. The material is heavy, but the author is hopeful despite his years of seeing terrible injustice.
The book helps you see the humanity of these people who have been mistreated, something we all need to remember; these are real people, not perfect people, but people made in the image of God and worthy of our love and compassion.
We cannot recommend this book enough.
KEY QUOTE: “The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent – strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.”
BONUS II: More of a visual learner? See our review of the movie Just Mercy, which we highly recommend as well.
DID YOU KNOW?: Sunday to Saturday has a Good Reads page where we post all of the books we have read – even the ones that didn’t make the cut.
More curated books on justice and racism:
When a major cultural event, such as George Floyd’s murder, shifts the focus of a country, it is easy to assume that critiques of the American church and racism are a recent phenomenon. Oftentimes we are simply unaware of prophetic voices from the the past such as Howard Thurman and his quintessential Jesus and the Disinherited. Penned in 1949, Thurman critiques the church and its seduction with power while detailing the psyche and motivation of the oppressed. His ultimate conclusion is that belief in Jesus, in conjunction with community, can empower the disinherited.Read more
To this day church services across the nation are some of the most segregated times of the week. Is this by random chance or was this intentional? Author Jemar Tisby details the sordid history of the American church and its complicity with racism in the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Color of Compromise.Read more
Over hundreds of years and the entanglement of church and state American Christians have lost their prophetic and Biblical voice when it comes to justice and punishment. Pastor Dominque DuBoise Gilliard tells the history of incarceration and the churches role and theological posture – both good and bad – with incarceration in the United States before tracing the history of Christian’s views on criminals and crime to retributive justice that is at odds with the Bible.Read more