Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People

Amistad: HarperCollins. Oct. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9780062375094. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062375117. LAW
Award-winning attorney Crump writes a disturbing examination of what he sees as the legal genocide perpetuated by the American judicial system. A Florida-based civil rights lawyer and a legal representative of the family of Trayvon Martin, Crump bases his narrative on a single argument: that the U.S. legal system is designed to disenfranchise people of color since the implementation of certain laws by police and prosecutors tend to favor white people above all. For example, there are several instances of police arresting, shooting, or killing African Americans who own a gun as a means of protecting private property. Some officers faced felonies, but few were convicted and most kept their jobs. Throughout, Crump uses court cases of police misconduct to prove his overall argument. While this is effective in supporting the author’s thesis, it is easy to become fatigued by the repeated inability of the courts to recognize injustice perpetrated by police. Also, Crump’s argument of legal genocide is occasionally repetitious and might distract general readers.
VERDICT Despite a few dense sections, this is overall a critical book in the age of Black Lives Matter, suited for both YA and adult readers. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
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