A recent study published in Nature Human Behaviour showed that children develop a sense of justice at age 6. Let me do the math real quick… and yes I think it’s fair to say that for the vast majority of our lives, we would have no trouble picking justice out of a lineup. And yet, we have the prophets of the Old Testament telling us to “seek justice” as if it were an oasis in the desert. How can we all know a thing for so long and have it be so rare?
Just Mercy tells the true story of Walter McMillian. A death row inmate falsely imprisoned in Alabama. His story is so outlandish, so heartbreaking, and so devoid of justice, logic, or reason that if it were a Grisham novel, Twitter conspiracists would be convinced Dan Brown wrote it.
And yet it’s true.
Just Mercy serves as a companion story to 13th. It paints a world run by people who have forgotten what they learned when they were 6. It’s a Hollywood story, so the villains outnumber the heroes. But when I look at our world today (not that far removed from this story) I see the odds stacked against those fighting for what’s right. Too many are silent. Too few are actively seeking justice. The reality from Just Mercy is the reality for so many and has been for decades. I just never saw it. I hope I finally am.