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Book Review: Yardbird USA: How the United States Became The World’s Leading Jailer
By Brock Benjamin
Book Reviews columns.
Yardbird USA: How the United States Became The World’s Leading Jailer
By Jack W. Cline
Strategic Book Publishing (2012)
Yardbird USA is a satirical look into the policy of the United States on incarceration. Jack Cline uses the Pennsylvania criminal justice system and its sentencing scheme as an example of the problems faced by the nation.
Cline writes the book from the point of view of a trial attorney who practices daily in a criminal court. He tells the story of 12 clients he represented in a system that he states is controlled by Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum jail requirements. Each story focuses on what is wrong with the criminal justice system. These stories involve charges ranging from simple DUI to aggravated indecent assault.
To begin the book, Cline showcases prison abuses. He begins Chapter 1, titled “The Ghetto,” by telling the story of sadistic Specialist Charles A. Garner. Garner is a former U.S. Army reservist who was convicted f
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