American human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson was inspiring on BBC’s Desert Island Discs, on 8 March. He revealed the brutal legacy of racial divisions and the terror and disadvantage that have stalked African-American communities.
Stevenson has dedicated his professional life to race equality; to Death Row prisoners; to children sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and brutalised by the system. Desmond Tutu observed Stevenson reminds him of “a young Nelson Mandela”.
Of the many remarkable statistics discussed in the programme, one reverberates: one in every nine US death sentences is passed on an innocent man. Capital punishment, Stevenson argued, is therefore not a matter of morality but first one of numbers and probability.
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