SOCIAL SCIENCES

Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

Knopf. Mar. 2019. 368p. index. ISBN 9780525521129. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780525521136. CRIME
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Prosecutors tend to work behind the scenes in the justice system. This book highlights their role on a Federal level as reflected in the operation of the Southern District of New York's U.S. Attorney's Office. Bharara (New York Univ. Sch. of Law) held that position for more than seven years until his firing in 2017. This case study focuses on his tenure in the Southern District, covering a variety of high-profile cases on topics ranging from insider trading and terrorism to miscreant cops and abusive correctional officers. Initial chapters explore case inquiry issues involving confirmation bias, wrongful convictions, confessions and interrogations, and innovative workarounds in a culturally conservative environment. Sections are organized around traditional phases of the justice process from accusation and trial preparation to a reconsideration of punishment and the need for reform. Using an informal style, the author recalls successes, failures, and controversies as well as extended personal insights, and an emphasis on stories rather than statistics. Though rooted in New York City, the cases and issues discussed are often national in scope.
VERDICT This is a relevant and thought-provoking commentary on truth and justice from the unique perspective of a high-level former U.S. Attorney.

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