The term of Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Just Mercy from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Just Mercy

Just Mercy

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 inmates seeking relief. They later take on projects related to juvenile incarceration, improving prison conditions, and educating the public about racial and prison injustice. They take several landmark cases to the Supreme Court.
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Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Term Timeline in Just Mercy

The timeline below shows where the term Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) appears in Just Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: The Old Rugged Cross
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...and securing funding, Stevenson and his friend Eva Ansley finally open the Equal justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. Even as they struggle with fundraising and hiring, they are immediately bombarded... (full context)
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...punishment in order to appear tough on crime. The governor of Alabama, Guy Hunt, denies EJI’s request for clemency for Michael Lindsey, who is executed in May of 1989. (full context)
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EJI makes another last-stage appeal for Horace Dunkins, a mentally retarded man, but their appeal is... (full context)
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...difficult work conditions. One day, a death row inmate and Vietnam veteran, Herbert Richardson, calls EJI pleading for help. His execution date is 30 days away. Stevenson tries to delicately explain... (full context)
Chapter 5: Of the Coming of John
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...no money and they offer to give Stevenson whatever they have, but Stevenson explains that EJI is a nonprofit. Despite their kindness, he senses their anxiety. He explains the appeals process... (full context)
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...to Walter’s lawyers the year before. Word has gotten out that Darnell was speaking with EJI, and Stevenson suspects that the state is retaliating. Stevenson writes that it is illegal to... (full context)
Chapter 7: Justice Denied
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EJI receives a surprising call from Myers. Although wary of his intentions, they know the case... (full context)
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...Investigator Larry Ikner for the first time. At this point, it is publicly known that EJI is accusing Tate and Ikner of illegal activity. They hand over all of their files,... (full context)
Chapter 8: All God’s Children
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EJI began representing Ian, Trina, and Antonio years after their convictions, and the organization decided to... (full context)
Chapter 9: I’m Here
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...writes that the presiding judge, Thomas B. Norton, Jr., quickly tired of the conflicts between EJI and the State during pretrial hearings. EJI had insisted that the State check several times... (full context)
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...how they will present all the evidence in the allotted time. Ralph has begun calling EJI regularly with long tales of police and State corruption, and Michael is especially concerned about... (full context)
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...been incarcerated with Myers who testify that Myers told them that his accusations were false. EJI “save[s] the most powerful evidence for last”: the police tapes they obtained through their Rule... (full context)
Chapter 10: Mitigation
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...of his condition), the lawyers instead cashed it for themselves. George was sentenced to death. EJI got involved years later, and got George’s conviction overturned after discovering that “Dr. Seger” was... (full context)
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A man on death row, Avery Jenkins, reaches out to EJI. Stevenson writes that the inscrutable letters Avery sent him suggested serious mental illness. Stevenson finds... (full context)
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...Stevenson bring Avery a milkshake, though Avery continues to ask for one during each visit. EJI arranges a postconviction hearing for Avery. In the courtroom at the hearing, Stevenson sees the... (full context)
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...writes that Avery never mentioned the milkshake again. The guard resigned very shortly after, and EJI eventually succeeded in having Avery moved to a mental health facility. (full context)
Chapter 11: I’ll Fly Away
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After Walter’s hearing, EJI continues to receive bomb threats. Their staff is growing, and now includes summer interns, whom... (full context)
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...his best chance will be the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Between 1990 and 1992, EJI secured several death penalty reversals through the Court of Appeals, despite political resistance. Stevenson is... (full context)
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Michael moves to San Diego to work as a public defender. While Michael will miss EJI, Stevenson describes him as being “less conflicted about leaving Alabama.” Michael is replaced by Bernard... (full context)
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...the investigators weren’t “connected to any of the players in South Alabama.” Six months after EJI files Walter’s appeal, ABI informs Stevenson that they have determined that Walter isn’t guilty. They... (full context)
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Six weeks after EJI files the appeal, Stevenson receives notice that the judge has issued a ruling. He rushes... (full context)
Chapter 12: Mother, Mother
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EJI senior attorney Charlotte Morrison and attorney Kristen Nelson take on Marsha’s case. Each time they... (full context)
Chapter 13: Recovery
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EJI pursues financial compensation for Walter. They seek help from Stevenson’s friend Rob McDuff, a “charming”... (full context)
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...row inmates were cut. Many other legal aid groups in the country shut down, but EJI intensified fundraising among private donors. Stevenson writes that, despite the financial and workload stress, he... (full context)
Chapter 14: Cruel and Unusual
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An inmate incarcerated with Joe writes to EJI About Joe’s abuse and his disability. Joe writes to Stevenson asking if Stevenson can “come... (full context)
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Joe regularly writes to Stevenson, often sharing details of his day and asking childlike questions. EJI petitions Joe’s life sentence “as unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.” Stevenson writes that the death... (full context)
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...Eighth Amendment requires proof that punishment is “unusual.” To meet the standard for “unusual” punishment, EJI first challenged juvenile life sentences involving non-homicidal crimes like those of Joe Sullivan. In Joe’s... (full context)
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...to life for violating his probation by attempting robbery. Ahead of the Supreme Court case, EJI receives support from countless nonprofits and child welfare groups, scientific and medical associations, and politicians.... (full context)
Chapter 15: Broken
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...soon be “incapacitated.” With Stevenson’s help, Walter’s family decides to put him in long-term care. EJI’s new social worker Maria Morrison tries to get Walter into a nursing home, but many... (full context)
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...after Stevenson’s visit with Walter, he finds out that another execution is scheduled. He calls EJI deputy director Randy Susskind, who has been managing efforts to block impending executions. He tells... (full context)
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...to outlaw the use of illegally obtained euthanasia in executions. Stevenson describes the stress on EJI due to the challenge of keeping up with the increasing execution rate and the organization’s... (full context)
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EJI takes on the case of Jimmy Dill, an intellectually disabled man scheduled to die in... (full context)
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...Parks asked Stevenson about his work, he described in detail all of the efforts of EJI to fight racism, injustice and poverty. Rosa Parks laughed and said: “Ooh, honey, all that’s... (full context)
Chapter 16: The Stonecatcher’s Song of Sorrow
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...ruling that it violates the eighth amendment as “cruel and unusual punishment.” Two years later, EJI fights on behalf of Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson before the Supreme Court, seeking a... (full context)
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By the early 2010’s, EJI achieves success in dramatically slowing the execution rate in Alabama. The number of death sentences... (full context)
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EJI finally launches a long-hoped-for “race and poverty” project. The project is focused on educating the... (full context)
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EJI’s Supreme Court victories mean a much bigger caseload. As they now pursue hundreds of individual... (full context)
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...now in her 90’s, “vowed […] she wouldn’t die until he came home from prison.” EJI schedules several hearings on their behalf. Each time they come to the New Orleans courtroom,... (full context)
Acknowledgements
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...thanks his agent, the editor, members of the publishing company, research assistants, and staff of EJI, many by name. (full context)
Author’s Note
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...million dealing with the consequences of criminal records. He directly invites the reader to contact EJI if they are interested in volunteering or supporting their efforts, and he provides their contact... (full context)