It tells the story of now-famous civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson working to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner, Walter McMillian. After graduating Harvard, Stevenson chooses the path less traveled and begins a criminal defense practice in Alabama, defending those who have been wrongfully condemned to face the death penalty and who may have been victim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
The crux of the movie involves attorney Stevenson taking on the post-trial representation of Mr. McMillian, who has been sentenced to death regardless of exculpatory evidence (which supports his innocence) as well as tainted evidence provided by the state (testimony from someone with a reason to lie).
Jaime Foxx plays the Death Row Inmate and Michael B. Jordan, the Capital Defense Attorney working to free him.
From the Vox review:
“Since 1976, for every nine Americans executed by the state, one is exonerated and released from death row — a margin of error that should terrify us all. (And yet, after years of decline, American support for the death penalty ticked up in 2018.) That’s precisely what Just Mercy, a true story that will set your sense of injustice ablaze, aims to change. Just Mercy is a story of idealism that becomes tempered by reality and sharpened by injustice.”