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Bryan Stevenson Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Bryan Stevenson
  1. #1
    “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”
  2. #2
    “I feel like they done put me on death row, too. What do we tell these children about how to stay out of harm’s way when you can be at your own house, minding your own business, surrounded by your entire family, and they still put some murder on you that you ain’t do and send you to death row?”
  3. #3
    “But before I could say anything, Myers blurted out, ‘I lied. Everything I said at McMillian’s trial was a lie. I’ve lost a lot of sleep and have been in a lot of pain over this. I can’t be quiet any longer.‘”
  4. #4
    “Why do we want to kill all the broken people? What is wrong with us, that we think a thing like that can be right?”
  5. #5
    “Loose these chains. Loose these chains.”
  6. #6
    “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
  7. #7
    “‘You see this scar on the top of my head?’ He tilted his head to show me. ‘I got that scar in Greene County, Alabama trying to register to vote in 1964. You see this scar on the side of my head? […] I got that scar in Mississippi demanding civil rights. […] These aren’t my scars, cuts and bruises. These are my medals of honor.‘”
  8. #8
    “We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness, even if our brokenness is not equivalent […] Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, foreswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity.”
  9. #9
    “I watched Joe, who laughed like a little boy, but I saw the lines in his face and even the emergence of a few prematurely grey hairs on his head. I realized even while I laughed, that his unhappy childhood had been followed by unhappy, imprisoned teenage years followed by unhappy incarceration through young adulthood. All of the sudden, it occurred to me what a miracle it was that he could still laugh.”
  10. #10
    “Increasingly, I was recognizing the importance of hopefulness in creating justice.”
  1. #11
    “Henry sang slowly and with great sincerity and conviction...
    ‘Lord lift me up, and let me stand
    By faith on Heaven’s tableland
    A higher plane, that I have found
    Lord, plant my feet on Higher Ground.’
    I sat down, completely stunned. Henry’s voice was filled with desire. I experienced his song as a precious gift.”
  2. #12
    “You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance, Bryan. You have to get close.”
  3. #13
    “Walter’s sense of humor hadn’t failed him despite his six years on death row. And this case had given him lots of fodder. We would often talk about situations and people connected to the case that, for all the damage they had caused, had still made us laugh at their absurdity. But the laughter today felt very different. It was the laughter of liberation.”
  4. #14
    “I argued to the judge that not taking Avery’s mental health issues into consideration at trial was as cruel as saying to someone who has lost his legs, ‘You must climb these stairs with no assistance, and if you don’t you’re just lazy.’ Or to say to someone who was blind, ‘You should get across this busy interstate highway, unaided, or you’re just cowardly.‘”
  5. #15
    “It was sad like few other hymns I’d heard. I don’t know why exactly, but I started to hum it as I saw more uniformed officers entering the vestibule outside the visitation room. It seemed like something that might help...After a few minutes, the family joined me. I went over to Herbert’s wife as she held him tightly, sobbing softly. I whispered to her, ‘We have to let him go.’ Herbert saw the officers lining up outside, and he pulled away from her slowly and told me to take her out of the room.”
  6. #16
    “You know they’ll try to kill you if you actually get to the bottom of everything.”
  7. #17
    “The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and—perhaps—we all need some measure of unmerited grace.”
  8. #18
    “Capital punishment means ‘them without the capital get the punishment.‘”
  9. #19
    “They put me on death row for six years! They threatened me for six years. They tortured me with the promise of execution for six years. I lost my job. I lost my life. I lost my reputation. I lost my – I lost my dignity.”
  10. #20
    “But Walter’s case also taught me something else: there is light within this darkness.”
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