This was the most popular talk at TED 2012, and I had a unique visual perspective, sitting behind him.
His TED Talk just went live: “Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives.”
My notes: " We will judge the character of our society by how they treat the poor and the incarcerated."
"California will spend $1 billion on the death penalty in the next five years."
And, ironically, I was part of a “jury” that was to ask him pointed questions (His work has focused on jury selection, finding in Alabama that 80% of African Americans qualified for jury service have been struck by prosecutors from death penalty cases).
During the prior night’s cocktail party, I had a great discussion with Sam Harris about his new book Free Will. It sparked my question for Bryan: “How do people’s perceptions of free will drive their perceptions of the proper balance of crime and punishment?”