I recently read Author Bryan Stevenson’s incredible acceptance speech he wrote after winning a Carnegie Medal for his book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Several statements brought tears to my eyes. One paragraph in particular really resonated with my own story about the phenomenon of injustice in America today. Bryan stated,
“I believe in really simple things. I believe that each person is more than the worst thing that they’ve ever done. I think that for you. I think that for my clients. I think that for everybody. Even the people jailed and in prison. I think if you tell a lie, you’re not just a liar. I think if you take something that doesn’t belong to you, you’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill somebody, you’re not just a killer. And the other things you are have to be recognized, and addressed, and discussed.”
In my memoir, The Fugitive’s Sister, a vindictive judge used me as jail bait and sentenced me to six months in prison, eight months of house arrest and three years probation for telling a lie. Bryan’s statistics about the increase in prison population in the U.S., women in particular, was shocking but not surprising. I was included in that statistic at age sixty-six with no prior criminal record of any kind. Excessive punishment? Justice? The emotional scars from this injustice will remain with me for the rest of my life. I put my grief into words by writing about it in The Fugitive’s Sister, available for acquisition through Johnnie Bernhard with Loiacono Literary Agency, Johnnie.B@llallc.net www.llallc.net
What do you think? Do leave a comment.