“Justice is forever shattered when we kill an innocent man.” – Walter McMillian
Micheal B. Jordan of Fruitvale Station and Black Panther, along with Academy Award-winning Jamie Foxx, starred in the box office hit Just Mercy, which is based on the book written by Bryan Stevenson. The movie follows Walter McMillian, a black man sentenced to death row for the murder of a young white woman in Alabama in 1986 and his lawyer Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is a private nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. Stevenson decided to take on McMillian’s case after he was sentenced.
Stevenson discovered that the State’s witnesses against McMillian had lied on the stand and that they were coerced to testify falsely. There were also dozens of black people that could testify that McMillian was nowhere near the crime scene when the murder took place but they were ignored. McMillian was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole but the presiding judge was able to override the jury’s decision and he sentenced him to death by electrocution.
After six years of hearings and appeals, Stevenson was finally able to get the Alabama Court of Appeals to rule that