In the last half-century, America has become the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, has authorized the execution of hundreds of condemned prisoners, and has continued a largely unfruitful struggle to recover from a long history of racial injustice.
For more than three decades, Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Institute in Alabama, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system, and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved, and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.
A free screening of this documentary will be held on Saturday, October 12, at 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont. A discussion will follow the screening, which is part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series.
Told primarily in his own words, True Justice shares Stevenson’s experience with a criminal justice system that, he asserts, “treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.” The burden of facing this system is explored in candid interviews with associates, close family members, and clients.
As a young lawyer in the 1980s, he witnessed firsthand how courts unfairly applied the death penalty based on race and how the Supreme Court ultimately declared that racial bias in the administration of the death penalty was “inevitable.”
The documentary chronicles Stevenson’s indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism, and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration. True Justice offers a rare glimpse into the human struggle that is required when the poor and people of color are wrongly condemned or unfairly sentenced, and explores the personal toll it has taken on Stevenson and his colleagues.
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality reveals a history that can’t be forgotten in the pursuit of genuine justice.
The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. Learn more about the series at bit.ly/nilesssds.