Just Mercy

Just Mercy

Southern Prisoners Defense Committee (SPDC)

The SPDC is an organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that is dedicated to providing legal aid to prison inmates throughout Southern states. They provide aid to individual inmates seeking help with appeals and sentencing, and… (read full term analysis)

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)

EJI is an organization founded by Bryan Stevenson with help from his friend Eva Ansley in Montgomery, Alabama. When they begin their project, they are focused primarily on providing free legal aid for death row… (read full term analysis)

Jim Crow

Beginning in the post-Reconstruction era and continuing through the 1970’s, Jim Crow laws were created throughout the South with the intent to restore the racial hierarchies and strict segregation that had been challenged by the… (read full term analysis)

Post-Reconstruction Era

The post-Reconstruction era began after the withdrawal of federal authorities from Confederate states following the period of Reconstruction. During the post-Reconstruction era, confederate authorities launched retaliatory efforts to recreate the conditions of slavery through… (read full term analysis)

Reconstruction Era

From the end of Civil War until the end of the 1870s, federal authorities occupied Confederate states. During this period, they established laws and structures to ensure civil rights for African Americans, such as voting… (read full term analysis)
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Alabama Bureau of Investigations

(ABI) – This is the agency that reviews high-level criminal cases in the state of Alabama. At the time of Walter’s original trial, the ABI fails to pursue a deeper investigation and cooperates with… (read full term analysis)

Attica Prison Riots

The Attica Prison Riots took place in Attica, New York in 1971. Responding to the use of dangerous physical punishments and degrading prison conditions, prisoners at Attica Correctional Facility organized riots and took control of… (read full term analysis)

The Old Rugged Cross

The Old Rugged Cross is a 1912 church hymn by George Bennard. In the song, the speaker considers the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and reconciles with his own “shame” and “suffering” as he prepares… (read full term analysis)

Confederates

The term “Confederates” refers historically to the confederation of the slaveholding Southern States that fought the North (the Union) during the Civil War. In modern times, Confederate symbols are usually associated with white supremacy. The… (read full term analysis)

Retrial

Accused individuals and their attorneys can request a retrial on the grounds that their original trials were legally flawed. If granted, the defendant is given an entirely new trial with a new jury, and the… (read full term analysis)

Direct Appeal

Following a criminal conviction, individuals are entitled to appeal the local court’s decision in a higher court. This differs from retrial and postconviction collateral appeal. (read full term analysis)

Postconviction Collateral appeal

Following a criminal conviction and usually after attempting direct appeal, convicted individuals can request a postconviction collateral appeal if they have reason to argue that the original conviction was flawed or invalid. (read full term analysis)

Rule 32 Petition

In the state of Alabama, a Rule 32 Petition requires State and local officials to turn over any and all available records and forms of evidence connected to the case of a convicted individual as… (read full term analysis)

Voting Rights Protests of 1965 (Selma-to-Montgomery Marches)

In 1965, civil rights activists including Martin Luther King, Jr. organized several protests to fight for the protection of voting rights for African-Americans, including a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery. The protests were met… (read full term analysis)