Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson in 2012 Bryan Stevenson (born November 14, 1959) is an American lawyer, social justice activist, law professor at New York University School of Law, and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, he has challenged bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system, especially children. He has helped achieve United States Supreme Court decisions that prohibit sentencing children under 18 to death or to life imprisonment without parole. He has assisted in cases that have saved dozens of prisoners from the death penalty, advocated for the poor, and developed community-based reform litigation aimed at improving the administration of criminal justice.

He was depicted in the 2019 legal drama film ''Just Mercy'', based on his 2014 memoir ''Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption''. In the memoir, Stevenson recounted his work with Walter McMillian, who had been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death.

Stevenson initiated the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, which honors the names of each of more than 4,000 African Americans lynched in the twelve states of the South from 1877 to 1950. He argues that the history of slavery and lynchings has influenced the subsequent high rate of death sentences in the South, where it has been disproportionately applied to minorities. A related museum, The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, offers interpretations to show the connection between the post-Reconstruction period of lynchings to the high rate of incarceration and executions of people of color in the United States.

In November 2018, Stevenson received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the American Philosophical Society as a "Drum major for justice and mercy." In 2020, he shared the Right Livelihood Award with Nasrin Sotoudeh, Ales Bialiatski and Lottie Cunningham Wren.

In 2024, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. Provided by Wikipedia

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