In August 1988, a black man named Walter McMillian, known as Johnny D, was sentenced to death for the murder of a white teenage girl in Monroeville, Alabama. His trial lasted less than two days. Mr McMillian was with his family miles away when Ronda Morrison was killed. But it didn’t matter. He was found guilty – based on the false testimony of a criminal, and despite accounts from several black witnesses who could vouch for his whereabouts at the time of the murder – and sentenced to death by electrocution. He returned to death row, having already served his time on bail there after his arrest a year earlier; guilty until proven innocent. Advertisement The story is now being played out on the big screen in Just Mercy, starring Jamie Foxx as McMillian and Michael B Jordan as Bryan Stevenson, the man who founded America’s Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and who fought for the truth to come out. Raw and powerful, the film tells their stories: Stevenson a young black lawyer fresh out of Harvard, setting out to help death-row inmates and challenge the racial prejudice he too experiences; McMillian a condemned man who has lost hope in the… Read full this story
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