“Unfair” Book Review

At first glance, Unfair: The New Science Of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado appears to be just another documentation of police abuse and corruption in our criminal justice system. But after a few pages it becomes apparent that this book is much more than that. It is a psychological study in human behavior and how the American justice system all too often fails to look at psychology when it comes to crime and punishment.

Plea bargaining and coerced confessions leading to innocent individuals going to prison is a common practice in America. Detectives and prosecutors will do all they can to manipulate suspects to do both. Lawyers and prosecutors have an incentive to not present all of the facts and even fool themselves that they are doing the right thing. Society’s trust in the system enables these failures and allows injustice to continue.

While the majority of this book is right on target, I was a little put off at times that the author occasionally goes on a political rant (he seems to be strongly anti gun) and inserts a few opinions that really are disputed by the experts. I also found myself disagreeing with the conclusions of a few studies that were cited. But these shortcomings are few and far between. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fresh, in depth perspective on what is wrong with justice in America and what we can do about it.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for my review.


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