Sunday, August 9, 2020
‘True Justice’ to Show Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equal Justice
Wednesday, January 22, 2020


It was a man on Death Row who sealed Bryan Stevenson’s fate.

Stevenson was a 23-year-old Harvard Law School student who had been sent to Death Row as part of a school assignment. The condemned man he met there embraced him as the first person he had seen in two years who wasn’t either an inmate or a jailer.

Stevenson listened to the prisoner sing “Plant my feet on higher ground” as he returned to his cell. And right then and there he vowed to become a modern-day Atticus Finch trying to free the poor, black and those broken by intellectual disabilities and mental illness from wrongful or excessive imprisonment.

His story is told in the HBO documentary “True Justice.”

And Sun Valley Community School’s Parents’ Association will host a free public screening of that documentary at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the school’s theater.

The feature documentary follows the life and career of Stevenson, an Alabama public interest attorney who founded the Equal Justice Initiative to create greater fairness in the criminal justice system.

Stevenson gave an electrifying speech before the Sun Valley Writers Conference in 2016 on behalf of his book “Just Mercy.”

The film highlights watershed moments involving cases and clients and offers a glimpse into the struggle of the poor and people of color who are wrongly condemned or unfairly sentenced. It also shows the personal toll it has taken on Stevenson and his colleagues.

It tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lunching, segregation and mass incarceration. And it even explores the way in which the Supreme Court declared that racial bias in the administration of the death penalty was “inevitable.”

The film was made by six-time Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt and Emmy winners Teddy Kunhardt and George Kunhardt.


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