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100 results found for Book Review in search category NACDL Website Showing Page 1of 10 Pages: 1 2345678910

Book Review: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
From an outsider’s perspective, Jeff Hobbs meticulously crafts a haunting yet honest account of his college roommate’s life story while also managing to explain the grave societal causes for his demise. Robert Peace was not your average molecular biophysics graduate from Yale, and he certainly did not define himself by this accomplishment. Born right outside Newark, N.J., to a hard working mother named Jackie and an engaged albeit drug-dealing father called Skeet, Robert quickly became known by those close to him as a young genius — even as a toddler, his teachers referred to Rob as “the Professor” due to his great intellectual abilities. When Rob was 10 years old, two women were found dead in the same apartment building in which Skeet lived. Poor evidence linked Rob’s beloved father to the scene of the crime; he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
By Grace Fording in December 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: The Eternal Criminal Record
“Every police officer has the power to stigmatize any person with a lifelong arrest record.” Federal and state repositories hold criminal records on over a quarter of the U.S. adult population. They often lack accuracy, clarity, and completeness. About half of FBI rap sheets contain no disposition content. By 2014, only half the states had unified computer-searchable court records. Very few have information on the disposition of criminal cases online. Created for virtually every arrest, regardless of severity or judicial outcome, their publication can have onerous effects.
By Rafael Silva in December 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Rise of the Warrior Cop - The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Book Review: Rise of the Warrior Cop - The Militarization of America’s Police Forces reviewed by Lucia Walinchus. Radley Balko lays out the reasons the police usually target peaceful citizens in Rise of the Warrior Cop, an incredibly well-researched tome. Importantly, he does a good job of not blaming the police force, but rather the failed policies that give officers incentives to target the least harmful suspects — police funding based on the number of arrests, solitary informants paid based on the number and not the quality of tips, and no repercussions for rights violations during raids. Balko weaves in numerous heartbreaking anecdotes of people hurt by police raids, for example by heart attack. Or they are shot after reaching for a legal weapon in their defense, despite reasonably believing in the 3 a.m. confusion that they are being robbed.

By Lucia Walinchus in November 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Fundraiser A: My Fight for Freedom and Justice

Book Review: Fundraiser A - My Fight for Freedom and Justice reviewed by David Raybin. Robert Blagojevich’s book recounts his life-changing experience when facing the power of the United States of America, hell-bent on providing him with a prison cell adjacent to his more famous brother.

By David Raybin in November 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: The Death Penalty - What’s Keeping It Alive

Andrea Lyon, Dean of Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana, once again brings her prodigious experience and knowledge to one of the most vexing and polarizing issues in our society, the death penalty, posing the question in her latest book: “What’s keeping it alive?” Having tried 130 homicide cases, more than 30 death penalty cases, 19 of them to penalty phase verdict — and, most astounding, not a single one of those defendants having received the death penalty — she brings to this issue a perspective entitled to great weight, as one who has been in the trenches and has seen the death penalty machinery at work. The question is timely, with the publication of her book coinciding with two notorious death penalty prosecutions — James Holmes, for the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting, and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber. On the way to answering her question, Lyon traces the history of this ultimate punishment, from the Code of Hammurabi to present-day America, focusing on its modern incarnation over these past 40 years, after its short hiatus between Furman v. Georgia in 1972 and Gregg v. Georgia in 1976.

By Franklin J. Hogue in September/October 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: How to Navigate Through Federal Prison and Gain An Early Release

With a desire to help those who are sentenced to serve time in a federal prison, Lisa Barrett has written a detailed guide to surviving and thriving while incarcerated. In a book that is the first of its kind, written from a prisoner’s perspective, Barrett prepares inmates for what they will face.

By Christopher T. Powell, Jr. in September/October 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Reflections on Judging

Judge Richard A. Posner has served over 30 years as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, listened to oral arguments in more than 6,000 cases, read more than 15,000 briefs and written more than 2,800 published opinions. (Yes, he writes his own opinions.) In Reflections on Judging, he asserts that “the law should be simple, regardless of the complexity of the issues it grapples with.” But that is not the current state of the legal profession, which faces the problems of an increasingly complex world magnified by the judicial system’s own internal complexities.

By David McKnight in August 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done: The Language of Courtroom Apologies

In I’m Sorry for What I’ve Done: The Language of Courtroom Apologies, M. Catherine Gruber studies the words spoken by defendants in 52 sentencings that occurred before three federal judges. Gruber provides the defendants’ approximate ages, their offenses, their criminal histories, and their ranges under the federal Sentencing Guidelines. She tells us what the defendants said and what sentences judges imposed.

By Allen Bentley in August 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic
With the recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston and the Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage, Americans are thinking about their rights and how the U.S. Constitution defines them. It is thus with good timing that the widely read Yale constitutional law professor Akhil Reed Amar has come around again with a new book, The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic — an engaging work that focuses on how the Constitution manifests itself in different ways in different parts of the United States.
By Richard J. Blaustein in July 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Fountain Valley 1972
Michael Joseph, NACDL Life Member in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, was inseparable as a child from his brothers, Edwin and Rafael. Members of “The Trio” were all born within a two-year period. By 1972, when they were in their early 20s, the brothers were going very separate ways. Michael, the oldest, was finishing college in Los Angeles, first in his family to do so, and choosing between graduate school and a career as a drummer with internationally known jazz, reggae, and African dance professionals. Rafie, the youngest, a dropout who had left the family to live in the rural interior, was drifting into a life of petty crime. Edwin was back from a combat tour in Vietnam, carrying a burden of PTSD that would eventually claim his life along with those of three of his family members. Yet even that tragic episode is not what would shape Michael’s life and become the centerpiece of a highly compelling book.
By Peter Goldberger in July 2015
Category: The Champion Magazine
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