Michael B. Jordan both stars in and produces this true life story of the work of lawyer Bryan Stevenson. A lawyer with a long history of challenging biases against the poor and minorities in the US’s criminal justice system, Stevenson has become a highly respected figure in his field across the world. Just Mercy tells the story of one of his early cases, and one of the defining ones of his long career.
In 1989, a young Stevenson arrives in Alabama fresh out of Harvard with plans to help those in the state who cannot afford proper legal representation. Part of his work takes him to visit death row inmates, and that is where he meets Walter ‘Johnny D’ Macmillan (Jamie Foxx). Johnny D has been on death row for a few years for the murder of an 18 year-old white woman and has maintained his innocence the whole time. As Brian looks into the case, he finds that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that proves Johnny D’s innocence, with his conviction being the result of a bigoted state and a desire to pin the murder on someone quickly. Brian will now do all that he can to make sure an innocent man isn’t put to death for a crime he didn’t commit.
Full review over at VultureHound Magazine, originally published May 18th 2020.