Admittedly, normally I find very little interest in books or stories like this due simply to a lack of intellect on my part, but I couldn’t help but feel very strongly about the indirect lessons of leadership through character in this book. Though most examples of quality leadership are seen in things likes business, military or given small groups of individuals trying to complete a common goal, this was the first instance of cultural leadership on a macro scale that I myself have ever paid any kind of close attention to. Bryan Stevenson’s search for unbiased justice not only invokes the heightened awareness of cultural respect on honor similar to that of the nonfiction novel To Kill A Mockingbird, but also provides a real world glimpse at the tragedy of social discrimination and it’s sometimes absolute nature while demonstrating how something as nasty as judicial racism and corruption can be overturned in the popular eye by exhibiting true honor and character. Arguably there is nothing more noble than fighting for change on a systemic and cultural level through leadership by example of one’s own character. Walter McMillan, the African American male who faced certain death from a wrongful racist driven conviction of raping a white woman, represents those within any given system of hierarchy that find themselves on the bottom of the totem pole while receiving little to no support or empathy from those who rule above them that are driven by their own ego, biases, and inabilities to relate. Bryan Stevenson provides a perfect example of how a true leader sets the example of how one should conduct themselves within a given institution or system, and does so in such a way that he is able to demonstrate to those within that system how and why it is important to conduct one’s self with unbridled and untampered honesty and fairness. At one point he says, “I have discovered, deep in the hearts of many condemned and incarcerated people, the scattered traces of hope and humanity – seeds of restoration that come to astonishing life when nurtured by very simple interventions,” demonstrating through his own personal philosophy the importance of sound ethics and character to which he certainly leads by example; the end goal of course being providing justice a judgement to any and all no matter who they are or the color of their skin. Through the use of alternating chapter subjects, focused on the progression and difficulties of Walter’s case and examples of others lives who have been turned upside down or ruined by the very same system he is currently trying to fight, the reader slowly builds a full grasp on how extensive the history and potency of this racist judicial system truly is and allows the reader to fully appreciate the level of adversity both Mr. Stevenson and Mr. McMillan are facing. Despite the fact Mr. Stevenson is able to save Mr. McMillan from deathrow, he is ultimately unable to save him from the long lasting trauma brought on by his experiences which ultimately claim his life, Mr. Stevenson ends the book with an unarguable notion of optimism that cannot be matched; the idea that no matter how bad things may seem, or bad they may have gotten, that there is always room for hope in change and transformation socially so there may one day be a just mercy for all.