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The Injustice System: A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrong [Kindle Edition]

Clive Stafford Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $9.01 (53%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The maverick public defender who inspired John Grisham tells the story of his most frustrating case

A man accused of a murder he didn’t commit languishes on death row. A crusading lawyer is determined to free him. This powerful book reads like a page-turning legal thriller with one crucial difference: Justice is not served in the end.

In 1986, Kris Maharaj was arrested in Miami for the murder of his ex- business partner. A witness swore he saw him pull the trigger and a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death. But he swears he didn’t do it. Twenty years later, he’s bankrupted himself on appeals and been abandoned by everyone but his wife.

Enter Clive Stafford Smith, a charismatic public defender with a passion for lost causes who calls up old files and embarks on his own investigation. It takes him from Miami to Nassau to Washington as he uncovers corruption at every turn. Step by step, Clive slowly dismantles the case, guiding us through the whole scaffolding of the legal process and revealing a fundamentally broken system whose goal is not so much to find the right man as to convict.

A bombshell whose final chapter should re-open a long closed case, The Injustice System will appeal to fans of true crime and anyone who has served on a jury.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kris Maharaj spent more than 20 years on death row, convicted of murdering his ex–business partner, bankrupt and deserted by everyone but his wife. Smith, who had spent 25 years fighting death-penalty cases, took up Maharaj’s cause and plunged into an investigation involving the murky world of international drug trafficking and money laundering. Smith’s investigation took him from the Caribbean to Miami and Washington, D.C., as he examined his client, a British-educated Trinidadian businessman who’d lived in Miami, and the business deal that landed Maharaj in prison despite a strong alibi. His investigation uncovered improper conduct by police, prosecutors, and the judge, giving Smith the basis for critically analyzing the frailties of the justice system. He shines a harsh light on the conventional belief that the innocent rarely go as far as trial and are seldom convicted, and the immunity of prosecutors from accusations of wrongdoing, including withholding evidence that could prove defendants innocent. Smith packages this revealing analysis of the broader justice system in a true-life legal thriller about one particularly egregious case. --Vanessa Bush


""Clive Stafford Smith details a spectacular example of a bogus conviction, and the many lives ruined by it. It is a superbly written account of only one case, but one of thousands."" ---John Grisham

Product Details

  • File Size: 1096 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00F6EZAHS
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (November 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074VTHES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why hasn't this book gotten more attention? February 12, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Why hasn't this book gotten more attention? If it hadn't been mentioned in a reader comment on a newspaper website, I would have never heard about it. Clive Stafford Smith has written op-eds for The New York Times, yet his book has not been reviewed there. I read as many books about false-conviction cases as I can, but Smith's is the most memorable. Not only is the case itself, and the legal injustice surrounding it, mind-blowing, but Mr. Smith gives the best, most detailed explanation of how the system is almost rigged to ensure injustice. He breaks it down, with chapters about the prosecutors, the judge, the jury, the key witnesses, the defense lawyer, the forensic experts, so that the reader can see, each step of the way, where the system goes wrong. Because it is not a polemic, because the author does not believe that many of the people in the justice system are evil, because he tries to explain events through their eyes, his analysis comes across as exceedingly fair and is the more convincing and devastating for it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Our Legal System December 24, 2012
By S.W.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of a man convicted for a crime he didn't commit. We are given an honest look at our legal system and I came to the conclusion you are guilty until proven innocent not the other way around. The author honestly points out the problems from the beginning of a trial through conviction and takes us thorough the laboriously complexity of appeals. He shows how the system leans heavily in favour of the prosecution leaving the defendant's hands tied. We have a system with a weakened foundation in need of updating. Clearly written this is a book you don't want to pass up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing Story, Very Well Written April 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It may appear quite difficult to obtain a conviction in the US, what with the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard of proof, the requirement of a unanimous verdict, the Miranda warnings, and rules of evidence that sometimes bar the state's best information. And then, even after a conviction is obtained, after all of that, there are those who quibble with everything, in an attempt to set a convicted person free. How are we supposed to lock up the criminals in order to create a safe society?

But yet, but yet ... if there are five credible alibi witnesses, who were never called in the original trial; if a detective testified that the defendant stated that he had never been to the crime scene, when the detective's own notes indicate that the defendant readily admitted that he had been there before the crime was committed; when a detective testified that the defendant had denied ever owning a gun of the make of the murder weapon, when again, the detective's notes indicate that the defendant had readily confirmed that he had owned such a weapon; if the defense attorney failed to effectively cross-examine prosecution witnesses with obvious lines of questioning that would have raised real questions of credibility, shouldn't there, couldn't there, be some way to set the poor convicted man free. One note, although it appears that the defense attorney was threatened and advised to present a weak case, and may have performed poorly out of fear, there is no indication that this information was ever presented to an appeals court. I do not know if it could have been.

Yes, yes, this is a piece of advocacy writing. It might be biased in some places. I'd like to see the prosecutor write a contrary book, doing his best to poke holes in this account, so that I could gain a fuller view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW January 24, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You just will not believe the facts this guy knows that you do not. Extremely interesting and very well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important story May 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This true story of an innocent man spending life on death row is an important book. The writer - the man's defense attorney - brings home the weakness in our "injustice system" that permits eager police and ambitious, politically motivated prosecutors and judges to send someone to death row in spite of the legal presumption of innocence. The case is extremely complicated, and we get more information about a shadowy criminal frame-up than I wanted to know. But the story is complex, and I don't know how else the author could have told it. The book is worth the read in spite of too much detail.
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