Unfair

Author: Adam Benforado
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780770437770
Release Date: 2015-06-16
Genre: Psychology

"A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system." —Kirkus Reviews, starred A child is gunned down by a police officer; an investigator ignores critical clues in a case; an innocent man confesses to a crime he did not commit; a jury acquits a killer. The evidence is all around us: Our system of justice is fundamentally broken. But it’s not for the reasons we tend to think, as law professor Adam Benforado argues in this eye-opening, galvanizing book. Even if the system operated exactly as it was designed to, we would still end up with wrongful convictions, trampled rights, and unequal treatment. This is because the roots of injustice lie not inside the dark hearts of racist police officers or dishonest prosecutors, but within the minds of each and every one of us. This is difficult to accept. Our nation is founded on the idea that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the camera angle of a defendant’s taped confession, the number of photos in a mug shot book, or a simple word choice during a cross-examination. In Unfair, Benforado shines a light on this troubling new field of research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. Over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness. Until we address these hidden biases head-on, Benforado argues, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses of our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases—from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case—Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society’s weakest members. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the legal system’s dysfunction and proposes a wealth of practical reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law. From the Hardcover edition.

Unfair

Author: Adam Benforado
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780770437763
Release Date: 2015
Genre: LAW

"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"--

Unfair

Author: Adam Benforado
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780770437787
Release Date: 2016-06-14
Genre: LAW

"A crusading legal scholar exposes the powerful psychological forces that undermine our criminal justice system--and affect us all Our nation is founded on the notion that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the temperature of the courtroom, the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, or a simple word choice or gesture during a cross-examination. In Unfair, law professor Adam Benforado shines a light on this troubling new research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. In fact, over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness--and Benforado argues that until we address these hidden biases head-on, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses in our legal system. Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases--from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case--Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society's weakest members, convicting the innocent while letting dangerous criminals go free. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law"--

Forensics Under Fire

Author: Jim Fisher
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813544243
Release Date: 2008-02-04
Genre: Law

Television shows like CSI, Forensic Files, and The New Detectives make it look so easy. A crime-scene photographer snaps photographs, a fingerprint technician examines a gun, uniformed officers seal off a house while detectives gather hair and blood samples, placing them carefully into separate evidence containers. In a crime laboratory, a suspect's hands are meticulously examined for gunshot residue. An autopsy is performed in order to determine range and angle of the gunshot and time-of-death evidence. Dozens of tests and analyses are performed and cross-referenced. A conviction is made. Another crime is solved. The credits roll. The American public has become captivated by success stories like this one with their satisfyingly definitive conclusions, all made possible because of the wonders of forensic science. Unfortunately, however, popular television dramas do not represent the way most homicide cases in the United States are actually handled. Crime scenes are not always protected from contamination; physical evidence is often packaged improperly, lost, or left unaccounted for; forensic experts are not always consulted; and mistakes and omissions on the autopsy table frequently cut investigations short or send detectives down the wrong investigative path. In Forensics Under Fire, Jim Fisher makes a compelling case that these and other problems in the practice of forensic science allow offenders to escape justice and can also lead to the imprisonment of innocent people. Bringing together examples from a host of high-profile criminal cases and familiar figures, such as the JonBenet Ramsey case and Dr. Henry Lee who presented physical evidence in the O. J. Simpson trial, along with many lesser known but fascinating stories, Fisher presents daunting evidence that forensic science has a long way to go before it lives up to its potential and the public's expectations.

Overview of U S Law

Author: Ellen S. Podgor
Publisher: LexisNexis
ISBN: 9780327178392
Release Date: 2009-04-27
Genre: Law

This is a book that provides a preliminary examination of seventeen different subjects covered in law schools across the United States. Each chapter offers a succinct and organized review of the topic and begins with a detailed outline of the subject. Expert legal academics, drawn from a number of outstanding American law schools, authored each of the different chapters. The opening chapter of the book provides an overview of the legal system in the United States, and offers comparison with a civil code system. The book covers basic first year courses like Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Property. It also examines typical bar-type courses such as Wills and Trusts, Evidence, and Family Law. Finally, there are chapters on some "hot topics," such as Intellectual Property. The final chapter of the book examines the practice of law in the United States. Overview of U.S. Law is intended for students who are considering attending law school, those who plan to participate in an LL.M. program in the United States, and those outside the U.S. who seek an overview of the legal system. The chapters were designed with foreign lawyers and international students in mind. This book is part of a project, which the editors affectionately refer to as "The U.S. Law Project." The actual project includes lectures on each of the subjects covered in the book, and the video lectures are presented by the same individual who authored the chapter in the book.

Ethical Justice

Author: Brent E. Turvey
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9780124046467
Release Date: 2013-06-07
Genre: Law

This textbook was developed from an idiom shared by the authors and contributors alike: ethics and ethical challenges are generally black and white - not gray. They are akin to the pregnant woman or the gunshot victim; one cannot be a little pregnant or a little shot. Consequently, professional conduct is either ethical or it is not. Unafraid to be the harbingers, Turvey and Crowder set forth the parameters of key ethical issues across the five pillars of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, corrections, courts, forensic science, and academia. It demonstrates how each pillar is dependent upon its professional membership, and also upon the supporting efforts of the other pillars - with respect to both character and culture. With contributions from case-working experts across the CJ spectrum, this text reveals hard-earned insights into issues that are often absent from textbooks born out of just theory and research. Part 1 examines ethic issues in academia, with chapters on ethics for CJ students, CJ educators, and ethics in CJ research. Part 2 examines ethical issues in law enforcement, with separate chapters on law enforcement administration and criminal investigations. Part 3 examines ethical issues in the forensic services, considering the separate roles of crime lab administration and evidence examination. Part 4 examines ethical issues in the courts, with chapters discussing the prosecution, the defense, and the judiciary. Part 5 examines ethical issues in corrections, separately considering corrections staff and treatment staff in a forensic setting. The text concludes with Part 6, which examines ethical issues in a broad professional sense with respect to professional organizations and whistleblowers. Ethical Justice: Applied Issues for Criminal Justice Students and Professionals is intended for use as a textbook at the college and university, by undergraduate students enrolled in a program related to any of the CJ professions. It is intended to guide them through the real-world issues that they will encounter in both the classroom and in the professional community. However, it can also serve as an important reference manual for the CJ professional that may work in a community that lacks ethical mentoring or leadership. First of its kind overview of the five pillars of criminal justice: academia, law enforcement, forensic services, courts and corrections Written by practicing criminal justice professionals, from across every pillar Offers a realistic overview of ethical issues confronted by criminals justice students and professionals Examines sensitive subjects often ignored in other criminal justice ethics texts Numerous cases examples in each chapter to facilitate instruction and learning

Deadly Injustice

Author: Devon Johnson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479873456
Release Date: 2015-12-11
Genre: Social Science

The murder of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial and acquittal of his assailant, George Zimmerman, sparked a passionate national debate about race and criminal justice in America that involved everyone from bloggers to mayoral candidates to President Obama himself. With increased attention to these causes, from St. Louis to Los Angeles, intense outrage at New York City’s Stop and Frisk program and escalating anger over the effect of mass incarceration on the nation’s African American community, the Trayvon Martin case brought the racialized nature of the American justice system to the forefront of our national consciousness. Deadly Injustice uses the Martin/Zimmerman case as a springboard to examine race, crime, and justice in our current criminal justice system. Contributors explore how race and racism informs how Americans think about criminality, how crimes are investigated and prosecuted, and how the media interprets and reports on crime. At the center of their analysis sit examples of the Zimmerman trial and Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, providing current and resonant examples for readers as they work through the bigger-picture problems plaguing the American justice system. This important volume demonstrates how highly publicized criminal cases go on to shape public views about offenders, the criminal process, and justice more generally, perpetuating the same unjust cycle for future generations. A timely, well-argued collection, Deadly Injustice is an illuminating, headline-driven text perfect for students and scholars of criminology and an important contribution to the discussion of race and crime in America.

Kids Cops and Confessions

Author: Barry C. Feld
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814770672
Release Date: 2012-11-26
Genre: Social Science

Juveniles possess less maturity, intelligence, and competence than adults, heightening their vulnerability in the justice system. For this reason, states try juveniles in separate courts and use different sentencing standards than for adults. Yet, when police bring kids in for questioning, they use the same interrogation tactics they use for adults, including trickery, deception, and lying to elicit confessions or to produce incriminating evidence against the defendants. In Kids, Cops, and Confessions, Barry Feld offers the first report of what actually happens when police question juveniles. Drawing on remarkable data, Feld analyzes interrogation tapes and transcripts, police reports, juvenile court filings and sentences, and probation and sentencing reports, describing in rich detail what actually happens in the interrogation room. Contrasting routine interrogation and false confessions enables police, lawyers, and judges to identify interrogations that require enhanced scrutiny, to adopt policies to protect citizens, and to assure reliability and integrity of the justice system. Feld has produced an invaluable look at how the justice system really works.

Just Mercy

Author: Bryan Stevenson
Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 9781925113570
Release Date: 2015-02-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A powerful, bold true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America’s broken system of justice — from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The prison population has increased from 300,000 in the early 1970s to more than two million now. One in every 15 people is expected to go to prison. For black men, the most incarcerated group in America, this figure rises to one out of every three. Bryan Stevenson grew up a member of a poor black community in the racially segregated South. He was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the US’s criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young black man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, startling racial inequality, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted lawyer’s coming of age, a moving portrait of the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.

In Defense of Flogging

Author: Peter Moskos
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465023797
Release Date: 2011-05-31
Genre: Social Science

Prisons impose tremendous costs, yet they're easily ignored. Criminals-- even low-level nonviolent offenders-- enter our dysfunctional criminal justice system and disappear into a morass that's safely hidden from public view. Our "tough on crime" political rhetoric offers us no way out, and prison reformers are too quickly dismissed as soft on criminals. Meanwhile, the taxpayer picks up the extraordinary and unnecessary bill. In Defense of Flogging presents a solution both radical and simple: give criminals a choice between incarceration and the lash. Flogging is punishment: quick, cheap, and honest. Noted criminologist Peter Moskos, in irrefutable style, shows the logic of the new system while highlighting flaws in the status quo. Flogging may be cruel, but In Defense of Flogging shows us that compared to our broken prison system, it is the lesser of two evils.

Woman Lawyer

Author: Barbara Babcock
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804779357
Release Date: 2011-01-05
Genre: Law

Woman Lawyer tells the story of Clara Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar. Famous in her time as a public intellectual, leader of the women's movement, and legal reformer, Foltz faced terrific prejudice and well-organized opposition to women lawyers as she tried cases in front of all-male juries, raised five children as a single mother, and stumped for political candidates. She was the first to propose the creation of a public defender to balance the public prosecutor. Woman Lawyer uncovers the legal reforms and societal contributions of a woman celebrated in her day, but lost to history until now. It casts new light on the turbulent history and politics of California in a period of phenomenal growth and highlights the interconnection of the suffragists and other movements for civil rights and legal reforms.

False Justice

Author: Jim Petro
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317667728
Release Date: 2014-07-11
Genre: Social Science

Compelling and engagingly written, this book by former Attorney General of Ohio Jim Petro and his wife, writer Nancy Petro, takes the reader inside actual cases, summarizes extensive research on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction, and exposes eight common myths that inspire false confidence in the justice system and undermine reform. Now newly published in paperback with an extensive list of web links to wrongful conviction sources internationally, False Justice is ideal for use in a wide array of criminal justice and criminology courses. Myth 1: Everyone in prison claims innocence. Myth 2: Our system almost never convicts an innocent person. Myth 3: Only the guilty confess. Myth 4: Wrongful conviction is the result of innocent human error. Myth 5: An eyewitness is the best testimony. Myth 6: Conviction errors get corrected on appeal. Myth 7: It dishonors the victim to question a conviction. Myth 8: If the justice system has problems, the pros will fix them.

Justice Failed

Author: Alton Logan
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
ISBN: 9781619029941
Release Date: 2017-10-01
Genre: True Crime

An Official Junior Library Guild Selection, Adult Crossover Nonfiction "A shocking tale of wrongful conviction . . . that brings general conditions into cruelly sharp focus." —Kirkus Reviews Justice Failed is the story of Alton Logan, an African American man who served twenty-six years in prison for a murder he did not commit. In 1983, Logan was falsely convicted of fatally shooting an off-duty Cook County corrections officer, Lloyd M. Wickliffe, at a Chicago-area McDonald’s, and sentenced to life in prison. While serving time for unrelated charges, Andrew Wilson—the true murderer—admitted his guilt to his own lawyers, Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz. However, bound by the legal code of ethics known as the absolutism of client-attorney privilege, Coventry and Kunz could not take action. Instead, they signed an affidavit proclaiming Logan’s innocence and locked the document in a hidden strong box. It wasn’t until after Wilson’s death in 2007 that his lawyers were able to come forward with the evidence that would eventually set Alton Logan free after twenty-six years in prison. Written in collaboration with veteran journalist Berl Falbaum, Justice Failed explores the sharp divide that exists between commonsense morality—an innocent man should be free—and the rigid ethics of the law that superseded that morality. Throughout the book, in-depth interviews and legal analyses give way to Alton Logan himself as he tells his own story, from his childhood in Chicago to the devastating impact that the loss of a quarter century has had on his life—he entered prison at twenty-eight years of age, and was released at fifty-five.

Crook County

Author: Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804799201
Release Date: 2016-05-24
Genre: Law

Winner of the 2017 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Winner of the 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Winnier of the 2017 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Sociology of Culture Section. Honorable Mention in the 2017 Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Race, Class, and Gender. NAACP Image Award Nominee for an Outstanding Literary Work from a debut author. Winner of the 2017 Prose Award for Excellence in Social Sciences and the 2017 Prose Category Award for Law and Legal Studies, sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers. Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (Current Events/Social Issues category). Americans are slowly waking up to the dire effects of racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of color. The criminal courts are the crucial gateway between police action on the street and the processing of primarily black and Latino defendants into jails and prisons. And yet the courts, often portrayed as sacred, impartial institutions, have remained shrouded in secrecy, with the majority of Americans kept in the dark about how they function internally. Crook County bursts open the courthouse doors and enters the hallways, courtrooms, judges' chambers, and attorneys' offices to reveal a world of punishment determined by race, not offense. Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve spent ten years working in and investigating the largest criminal courthouse in the country, Chicago–Cook County, and based on over 1,000 hours of observation, she takes readers inside our so-called halls of justice to witness the types of everyday racial abuses that fester within the courts, often in plain sight. We watch white courtroom professionals classify and deliberate on the fates of mostly black and Latino defendants while racial abuse and due process violations are encouraged and even seen as justified. Judges fall asleep on the bench. Prosecutors hang out like frat boys in the judges' chambers while the fates of defendants hang in the balance. Public defenders make choices about which defendants they will try to "save" and which they will sacrifice. Sheriff's officers cruelly mock and abuse defendants' family members. Crook County's powerful and at times devastating narratives reveal startling truths about a legal culture steeped in racial abuse. Defendants find themselves thrust into a pernicious legal world where courtroom actors live and breathe racism while simultaneously committing themselves to a colorblind ideal. Gonzalez Van Cleve urges all citizens to take a closer look at the way we do justice in America and to hold our arbiters of justice accountable to the highest standards of equality.

Smart on Crime

Author: Kamala Harris
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9780811876193
Release Date: 2010-07-01
Genre: Law

The old approaches to fighting crime just aren't working. Two thirds of people released from prison commit anothercrime within two years. In Smart on Crime, career prosecutor Kamala D. Harris shatters the old distinctions, rooted in false choices and myths, and offers a compelling argument for how to make the criminal justice system truly, not just rhetorically, tough. Harris spells out the necessary shifts that will increase public safety, reduce costs, and strengthen our communities when our politicians and law enforcement officials learn how to become tough and smart on crime.