The true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.
Watch the Trailer
Watch This Movie
Teaching With This Movie
Is the death penalty legal in your state? If not, when did it become illegal and what were the reasons for the change? Research and discuss the disparities in who receives capital punishment based on jurisdiction, race of offender, race of victim, legal representation, and other relevant factors.
What types of crimes are the death penalty used for? Does the death penalty deter crime? Pick one side of the debate. Research the moral and legal arguments and examine relevant Department of Justice statistics relating to changes in major crimes and the use of the death penalty. Develop your own argument and defend your position.
Compare and contrast the true story of Just Mercy with the fictional story of To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that is read by most high school students. How is the portrayal of the accused characters handled differently in each book? How do the character portrayals reinforce commonly held stereotypes? Discuss the pros and cons of replacing Just Mercy as required reading for high school students.