Monday, March 18, 2013

MISTRIAL by Mark Geragos & Pat Harris

The subtitle of this book tells the story: "An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works . . . and Sometimes Doesn't."  You will no doubt recognize the authors' names since they have represented several celebrities, including Michael Jackson when he was accused of molesting a boy who stayed overnight at Neverland.

Defense attorneys get paid to win people over to their point of view so of course I knew this book would be biased.  However, they won me over right from the get-go with their definition of one thing that's wrong with the justice system at the moment, namely the "Angry Blond White Women."  The name comes from a person on HLN who I cannot abide.  She used to be a prosecutor, but has since become a broadcaster and nominated herself judge, jury, and God.  I'm sure you know who I mean.  Some of these people aren't even women, or blond, or even white, but they are universally angry.

That the authors won me over doesn't mean I agree with everything they write, but I do see their point of view and that's all they ask really.  They are understandably upset at the fact that tough judges and district attorneys are easily re-elected because the public is convinced that only stiffer penalties will solve what they see as a rising crime rate.  Actually the crime rate has been falling for years; we just hear more about crime on 24 hour news programs that need to keep us stirred up and tuning in.  Meanwhile, the jails and prisons are full to overflowing so that in California at least, they are turning prisoners loose to free up space.

Read here about actual cases that prove dependence on eyewitness identification is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I learned a lot from this easy reading book.  Each author narrates some tales that make you feel like you're one of a bunch of lawyers sitting around telling stories and laughing.  There are also some unarguable points about problems with our justice system, many of which exist because the public demands them.  Mistrial might make you angry in places, and laugh in others, but I doubt that you will regret reading it.  When the subtitle says "the inside look," that's true and these two lawyers have the years of experience to back it up.

Recommended reading
Source:  LibraryThing win


  1. This sounds like it might be right up our alley! Thanks for letting us know about it! (gaaah, this sounds like a spam comment - LOL)

  2. This sounds like one I might enjoy. Hadn'y heard of it.

  3. Jill, You never sound like spam. Hope you enjoy it.

    Diane, Thanks for the comment. I hope you will look for it.