Local Students Riveted By Film About The Criminal Justice System

Students at the film screening after the panel discussion.

More than 100 attendees, primarily teens from local schools, attended a private viewing of Just Mercy, a film about the true story of Harvard-educated attorney Bryan Stevenson’s fight to overturn a wrongfully imposed murder conviction.

The students, who also represented the Martin Luther King Coordinating Committee, the Police Athletic League, the Salvation Army, the Florida Federation of Families of Belle Glade, the Urban League and Urban Youth Impact were riveted. They voiced their displeasure when the defendant’s motion for new trial was denied, gave thunderous applause when the motion was later granted and were fully engaged in the discussion after the movie.

The discussion was highlighted by a panel comprised of the Hon. James Nutt of the 15th Judicial Circuit, and defense attorneys W. Craig Lawson and Jaianna Seaborne. Deborah Stewart of the Palm Beach County School District’s Office of Engagement (ret.) served as master of ceremonies.

The students gained the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the criminal justice system, the importance of jury service and being civically engaged.

As a special gift, each event attendee received the Equal Justice Initiative’s Calendar for 2020, which highlights historical events and issues in America’s racial history. Items from the Southern Poverty Law Center were also distributed.