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November 2017 , Page 58 

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Book Review: Police State - How America’s Cops Get Away With Murder

By Susan Elizabeth Reese

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Police State - How America’s Cops Get Away With Murder

By Gerry Spence
St. Martin’s Press (2016)


In his 17th book, “legendary” trial lawyer Gerry Spence uses eight of his cases to illustrate police excess. He has discussed several before: the Randy Weaver case is the keystone for From Freedom to Slavery. He has spoken about the Imelda Marcos and Geoffrey Fieger cases (both tried in federal court on charges, among others, for “obstruction of justice”) in public discussions.

Police State is Spence’s response to the police shootings of Freddie Carlos Gray, 25, in Maryland and Walter Scott in South Carolina. It grows from what he calls a “startling insight”: that he had never represented a person charged with crime in state or federal court “in which the police, including the FBI, hadn’t themselves violated the law — and on more than one occasion, even committed the crime of murder.” (p. 3)

Some of the stories go back decades. One is that of 21-year-old Albert Hancock,

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