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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 Ploughmen
The Ploughmen is a novel about two men — a killer awaiting trial for a brutal murder and a young sheriff’s deputy. The deputy works the over-night shift and is assigned to sit outside the killer’s cell night after night in the hope of extracting information of additional crimes in the old man’s long career. What begins as small talk deepens into shared confidences and ends with an interesting twist in which the killer puts the deputy into an untenable position. Along with this twist comes one last confession of several murders.
By Dr. Teri Stockham in March 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Flawed Convictions - ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and the Inertia of Injustice
In 1996, the state of Wisconsin successfully prosecuted Audrey Edmunds for an unspeakable crime: the violent shaking death of a six-month-old girl. But 12 years later, an appellate court overturned Edmunds’ conviction because, the appeals court held, “a shift in mainstream medical opinion” casts doubt on the accuracy of expert testimony presented at Edmunds’ trial. Edmunds’ case seemed part of a small, yet potentially-ground breaking trend: a recognition by courts that flawed medical testimony could lead to wrongful convictions of defendants for Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). Deborah Tuerkheimer, a former prosecutor who once litigated SBS cases, had thought this handful of victories might catalyze a “massive institutional effort” to overturn similarly-flawed SBS convictions. Instead, Tuerkheimer, now a law professor at Northwestern, found a “criminal justice system ill-equipped to vet medical expertise, and even less capable of reversing direction.”
By Carrie Sperling in March 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Representing the Accused - A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense
Jill Paperno’s Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense is an extremely useful resource for both the novice and more experienced criminal defense attorney alike. Currently Paperno is the First Assistant Public Defender at the Monroe County, New York (Rochester) Public Defender’s Office, and she brings her extensive experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney to this particular work. Moreover, Paperno helped develop the defender training program in Monroe County, an experience that has undoubtedly informed the focus of her book.
By Todd A. Berger in January - February 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
Book Review: Inferno - An Anatomy of American Punishment
We had a new judge in our county who defeated the incumbent in an election. He had never practiced criminal law. Prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, and others working in the system were concerned that the new judge would not have a perspective on the actual workings of criminal law. To answer these concerns, the new judge, accompanied by a newspaper reporter, went undercover to see the county jail firsthand. He made a deal with the sheriff to be booked for 48 hours as a businessman, purportedly arrested for vehicular manslaughter, along with the reporter, purportedly a passenger arrested for resisting an officer. Like a really bad movie, only the sheriff and one commander knew the truth.
By Robert M. Sanger in January - February 2016
Category: The Champion Magazine
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
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