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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising and fascinating account, November 26, 2011
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This review is from: The Collapse of American Criminal Justice (Hardcover)
An excellent book, and not just for those interested in law. In many ways this is a study in unintended consequences. Stuntz explains how the decisions of the Warren Court (Mapp, Miranda, etc.) ended up actually widening the gap between rich and poor, by making jury trials difficult and expensive and acquittals rare, putting judicial power into the hands of prosecutors rather than judges and juries. And even more fascinating is how the "war on drugs" actually has a benefit: since intimidation of witnesses ("Don't snitch") has made it almost impossible to convict gang members of actual crimes like murder and robbery, drug crimes are used as substitute prosecutions, since they don't require witness testimony. These are just two examples of the many perceptive analyses in the book. The title is just a bit hyperbolic, ("flaws" rather than "collapse" might be more accurate), but this is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in what's going on in American society today.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2011 5:24:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2011 5:25:13 PM PST
I just got this and, flipping through it, I really do not see a lot here that drug policy reform advocates couldn't have told you twenty years ago or even longer. I would view this book more as "corroborating data" than anything profound or "paradigm shaking."

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 4:33:40 AM PST
American society has such extremes that occupational interests changed government into a department of material fetish mainly concerned with ways to soak up the anxieties of millionaires and billionaires with a legal crisis market extracting large fees to keep most people out of jail while the behavior most people can get away with is like shaving money from buns and gutter.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 12:43:33 PM PDT
dudnpad says:
Your review makes little sense to me. What am I missing here? Are you somewhere with the 99% Occupy Wall Street group? Please clarify.
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Phelps Gates
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC USA

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