Bryan Stevenson is an attorney and activist whose work focuses on systemic discrepancies within the judicial system. As an African American man raised in a rural area, his primary focus is to highlight and fix issues of inherent bias through sentencing reform and social consciousness around the issue of racism in America.
Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in 1994 and has since served as the executive director for the organization. The EJI describes itself as an organization that is:
"committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society." (eji.org)
As a lawyer, Stevenson has worked with the Equal Justice Initiative to argue cases all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, such as Roper v. Simmons and Montgomery v. Louisiana. In almost all of their cases, Stevenson and the EJI provide legal representation for individuals whose cases exhibit the elements of a wrongful conviction, such as poor legal representation or inherent bias within the judicial system.
Stevenson currently lives and works in Montgomery, Alabama. in 2014, he published Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, a memoir reflecting on his career and struggle for reform within the justice system.