Just Mercy felt like a title that was longing. Longing for something more than .... just mercy. After reading and watching the movie, I realize that though not exclusive, carrying a sense of mercy (like the white police officer, or the white women judge) is an integral part of the solution. Recognizing who has power, who is powerless, and the direction the power can go and how it is used seemed to be clearly outlined in the film and highlighted in the title.
I think before watching Just Mercy the title was short for something along the lines of we just want mercy at the least. I did not put too much thought into the title before the film, but after I took it to believe longing for justice and mercy in a messed up system pitted against people of color which was very clear from the film and readings we did in class. I think that just in this case "just" meant what is morally right or good. So together Just Mercy is doing the morally right thing by being fair and having compassion when you are in a position to harm others.
To be honest, I didn't think too much about the title or the significance of it before reading the book or watching the movie. When we started reading the excerpts in class, the stories really struck me simultaneously poignant and resilient. I went home and finished the entire book and after we saw the movie , I think the title found meaning for me. Yes Bryan Stevenson is a skilled lawyer, but most of his positive outcomes were the result of him being the only person to sit down with someone and really hear them out. He showed grit and tenacity in his constant pursuit of justice, but a lot of it came down to his ability to look past the exterior of someone: to disregard their criminal status, the background they came from, their life experiences and just listen to the way they were feeling. Mercy is defined as compassion to someone you have the ability to punish. With his law skills, Bryan could have worked in the other direction, extended their sentences, but he showed these men true compassion and was there for them both personally and professionally.
I didn't really think that much about what the title meant before we watched/read. I guess I sort of thought it mean that mercy is one of the most important things to think about when discussing the justice system. After reading but before watching, I thought of "Just Mercy" as maybe a phrase that helped Stevenson stay focused on the true goal of his work, even when it gets hard and discouraging. After watching the film, I see how it might mean "just" as in right or fair, so the idea of searching for mercy that is right and just. I listened to a podcast the other day where Bryan Stevenson was being interviewed and he talked about how to him, the law does not equal mercy or justice, and I think that this is very emblematic of his work. Obviously, he works in the justice system, but the law is not necessarily just. I take the title to mean that the most important thing to consider when thinking about the justice system is how to achieve mercy.
I didn't really think much of the title of the book or film before I read/watched. I definitely thought about how the general idea of mercy relates to the prison system, and death row specifically. Now that I've read and watched Just Mercy, I feel like the title speaks to the respect and humility that is owed to each person in the country and in the world. The repeated patterns of discrimination against African American people in Just Mercy show how our country's justice system does not work: it does not give mercy, respect, and humility to the people who need it the most. Instead of serving justice, our system reenforces oppression.
Before reading and watching Just Mercy, I assumed that the title referred to a main theme in the book. I interpreted that it meant that all people deserved mercy, if nothing else. After reading and watching the movie, I still have similar thoughts but they are furthered and expanded. I believe that Just Mercy means that everyone is entitled to mercy and kindness no matter what they have done in their past. The movie seemed to heavily oppose the death penalty and I see that reflected in the title as well.
Before reading/watching, I felt like the title was saying that people needed to act more mercifully towards others. I feel like now, after having read/watched, the title has a more substantial/specific meaning for me. People in positions of power, like the DA or the judges, should act with more mercy and consideration towards others. To make the world better, we should act with more empathy and not only willingness but desire to help others. Additionally, that we should treat people with empathy not only on their worst days but every day that we can.
Before getting to read/watch "Just Mercy" I took the title to be a reference to the treatment of prisoners in the U.S. justice system. I thought about how people are not deserving of such harsh conditions and brutal environments. After getting an opportunity to actually hear the story, the meaning of the title changed slightly. I no longer think it is just about the conditions in jail, but the "Mercy" actually applies to the larger prison system. They idea that people are capable of change and reform and deserved to be treated as human. "Just Mercy" is about taking a second look at the people and taking the time to evaluate what happened without taking the harshest course of action. Additionally I think it is about making sure our system doesn't permit so much corruption and wrongful convictions. "Mercy" is about looking at how punishment works and reminding everyone that there isn't a black and white right or wrong.
Before watching the movie "Just Mercy," I thought the title reflected the people that are being put on death row, and them wanting others to show compassion or forgiveness for them and the crimes that they may or may not have committed. After watching the movie, I now associate the title with not only the people who had been convicted but also the actions and feelings of Bryan Stevenson, who uses what he has to help fight for the people who have been sentenced to the death penalty.
After watching the film, I realized that although Bryan Stevenson worked really hard and spent so much time to give an innocent man freedom, what he was trying to achieve was not that much. He was simply asking for justice.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.