I've had this for several years and thought it would be a good time to read after watching 'Crown Heights' (which follows the story of a man jailed for a murder he didn't commit). It seemed like an excellent companion (even if they are not about the same men).
Author Bryan Stevenson takes the reader though the founding of the Equal Justice Initiative, which defends the poor, the wrongly condemned, the people who are most likely to be victimized by the justice system. And in this story is of one Walter McMillian, a man on death row for a murder he didn't commit. Which is what the back summary told me and is the story that I thought was going to be told.
Instead the book meanders and tells the stories of others who are caught in the same or similar awful circumstnaces. Stevenson isn't very good in weaving the stories together. I thought the subject matter would be something that would definitely keep my interest given how horribly and horrifyingly common this is (plus the other problems with the justice system). Maybe I wasn't in the mood for a book like this but I do not understand the other reviews who say the writing is otherwise good. It was unbearable to get though and I had to begin skimming early because I just did not find the text holding my attention.
There is merit to the book and maybe this is another case where I'm totally wrong and the multitude of awards this book has is completely deserved. I do think Stevenson brings to light many important issues that are never given the proper attention and the justice system really isn't as great and dandy as far too many people seem to think it is. But it just felt like this was not the right vehicle or that Stevenson was the wrong person to tell the tale.
Maybe it just wasn't for me. Another book that I'd recommend is 'The New Jim Crow' although that is not specifically or exactly about the same topic. I bought this but wish I had borrowed it from the library instead.