Paiges Book Club: Book Review #5

unfair1

Book: Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice

Author: Adam Benforado

1. What made me want to read this book?

As I was walking through the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield, glancing at the New Nonfiction section, I stopped short when I saw the title word Unfair on the cover of this book. I have always contemplated whether or not the world is a fair place, and if you have ever debated with me on the living room couch, you know that I have always had trouble accepting the fact that sometimes unfair things happen to good people. So it seemed fitting that I would see a book so appropriately titled at the library. After I read the title and the book cover, I happily placed this book on the ever growing pile that was already in my arms. I walked out of the library with 7 books in hand, this one being at the top of my must-read list.

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

Every chapter, actually, every page of this book was interesting. Many pages were disturbing, as Benforado described criminal cases that were either shocking in terms of the crime committed, or shocking in the way the case was handled. This is definitely a must-read for anyone interested in the criminal justice field, as this book enlightens readers on the often unfortunate outcomes of the American justice system. Honestly, I believe that every American should read this book because, the truth is, any one of us can be falsely accused of a crime, or be called on to serve as a juror. This book has shocked me into the reality of the present day justice system and has not only pointed out the flaws, but also potential solutions.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

I have learned to be careful in life, to be sure of what words to choose before speaking, and to always advocate for progress and improvement in all fields. For example, the author of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice, sheds light on the flaws of human kind in dealing with crimes. This is not the first book I have read about the criminal justice field or policing, but it is the first that I have read that contains such a great amount of evidence showing the flaws of our justice system. I always thought that in this modern day, the criminal justice system had fixed some of its major problems, such as police coercion. Reading this book has taught me that many issues still exist and are prevalent today.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

This book has changed my opinion about the American legal system. It has also shown me that humans are very flawed and biased, and it is difficult to be objective in our dealings. Benforado brought up the fact that any human, whether he or she be a juror, police officer, an eyewitness, or a judge, has deep rooted biases that are nearly impossible to put to the side when making important decisions about other people’s lives.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

This author writes in a very direct, to the point fashion. Although much of the book was easy to understand, there were a few words that I had to look up to ensure I had the proper understanding. This book was very engaging and eye-opening and I hope many more people read it!

As always feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

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