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The American legal system changed dramatically in 1994, when the O. J. Simpson trial became a television-ratings bonanza. Now it’s all crime, all the time, on TV, from tabloid news to police procedurals on every network. Americans know more about the criminal justice system than ever before. Or do they? In Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works...and Sometimes Doesn't ($27.00), Mark Geragos and Pat Harris argue precisely the opposite: In pursuit of sensationalism, the media shows the public only a small, distorted sample of what really happens in our courtrooms. So, ironically, the more the public thinks it knows, the less informed it really is. Geragos and Harris debunk the myth of impartial American justice and draw the curtain on its ugly realities—from stealth jurors who secretly swing for a conviction to cops who regularly lie on the witness stand to defense attorneys terrified of going to trial. Ultimately, the authors question whether a justice system model drawn up two centuries before blogs, television, and O. J. Simpson is still viable today.
Mark Geragos is the head of Geragos & Geragos, a Los Angeles-based law firm that focuses on both criminal and civil trial work. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two children.
Pat Harris is a leading criminal defense attorney and a partner at Geragos & Geragos. He is the coauthor of Susan McDougal’s New York Times bestselling memoir, The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk. He and his wife live in Studio City, California.
A searing and entertaining manifesto on the ills of the criminal justice system from two of America’s most prominent defense attorneys.