For many years in my life, my heroes wore baseball caps, hockey sweaters, football helmets, and odd golf apparel. Over the last couple of years, though, I've experienced a change. Some might say I've matured, and football games no longer feel like life and death. My heroes now are people like Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights advocate and capital defense lawyer out of Alabama. Stevenson works everyday to affect change on issues that are life and death, including reforms of our backward juvenile justice system.
In one of his lectures, Stevenson implores his audience to think about one of this country's greatest injustices. He talks generally about the ways in which the justice system is flawed, and he's candid about how the modern justice system carries on the ideological directives of a time when people really weren't equal under the law. In his lecture, Stevenson discusses something that he deals with on a weekly basis - his juvenile clients being tried as adults. He recalls a time when one of his 14-year old clients was set to stand trial as an adult in a backwoods Alabama court. He began thinking that if the judge could turn his child client into an adult, then the judge must have magical powers.
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