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Americans’ Expectations of Justice

Eric D. Oberer Author Interview

Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice illuminates various issues in the U.S. legal system and provides insight to help readers understand them. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When I was in college and then law school, I had a very idealistic mindset on how the justice system in the U.S. works. But once I saw how it really works from my time as a prosecutor and in other legal roles, I thought it was important to write a book to apprise aspiring legal minds, and the public at large, of how things work in the real world… the world outside of academia and theory. I also felt it was important to explain to the American public why what they grow up believing is “justice” is not the same as the version of “justice” our system strives to obtain so that they can perhaps be less frustrated with it, appreciate its core values, and explain why this may not be a bad thing. Ultimately, I wanted to align Americans’ expectations of justice with those they can expect from our legal system, explain why there is this disconnect, and shift the paradigm of the American public so hopefully there is less discontent with, and even civil unrest over, outcomes in our justice system that do not always seem to be just.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about the U.S. legal system?

The biggest misconception of the American public, that often leads to frustration, hopelessness, and civil unrest, is their expectations of justice and that which the American justice system actually provides. Americans are raised to believe and taught in schools that justice means what the dictionary defines as justice – merited rewards or punishments and receiving what one deserves. However, the American justice system was designed to protect against governmental overreach and to ensure that there are many, many protections against innocent people being convicted of crimes. As a result, many otherwise guilty people often go free so that every American is protected against the risk of wrongful conviction. That version of “justice” is not what people are raised to believe “justice” really means. Their expectation of the dictionary version of “justice” often frustrates them. This frustration can be alleviated by an understanding of the holistic aims of our system that can, in individual cases, produce unjust results.

What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book?

After having spent time prosecuting thousands of cases as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore City, litigating and trying cases as a civil litigator, working in various other legal roles, spending significant time around high-level policy makers, and years of reflection, I thought it important to write this book based on keen insights gleaned over those years and reflections related thereto. Once I was ready to write about these insights, I spoke with judges, former prosecutors, assistant attorneys general, civil litigators, and historians to get the benefits of their views and opinions. I did empirical research on the justice system which was also backed by statistical analysis. I then pulled together the statistics, empirical research, but most importantly, keen insights of those legal experts I spoke with, along with my own experiences and insights derived therefrom, and wrote the book. It then went through the hands of multiple editors to tighten the language so as to not be overly verbose or extraneous in order to respect the reader’s time and provide a book that said as much as possible in as few words as possible for a better, more efficient reading and learning experience.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

I hope readers will come away with a new level of awareness that has been generated by critical thinking on the aims of our justice system, the history behind its making, and the questions presented regarding whether our system is one that is the best in the world and is supported by our values, or whether there is a better system elsewhere. I want them to think about what is important to them in constructing a justice system and to then decide whether our current system reflects those values. If it does, I would like them to understand that, while not perfect and at times limited, those imperfections and limitations are necessary to produce a system that reflects those values. As such, an acceptance of its flaws is necessary to achieve the adherence to the values that our justice system reflects. And if they think there is a better system elsewhere, to think about how the attributes of those systems can be implemented here to bring about a more just system while still embracing the values American hold dearest in a justice system.  

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

What if I told you that the American criminal justice system has never been about, is not set up to seek out, and is not equipped to find, justice –- at least “justice” as understood by most? In many ways, it was designed this way by the Founding Fathers based on Benjamin Franklin’s vision that “it is better a hundred guilty persons should escape than one innocent person should suffer.”

Americans are taught that justice means fairness. They expect it from our legal system. “Equal Justice Under Law” is prominently inscribed on the Supreme Court. Yet law and justice in America are not necessarily the same thing. And they are certainly not applied in equal ways.

The disconnect between these realities and what Americans are taught about justice has led to great strife in our society. But what if everyone grew up understanding the limitations of our justice system, yet understood what it is striving to achieve? Through the Revolutionary War, historic cases, civil unrest, Broken Windows law enforcement, corrupt police and attorneys, and jury bias, the lens through which you see the American justice system is about to change, all as told by former Baltimore prosecutor –- Eric Oberer. It is time for a paradigm shift…

Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice

Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice: Why Justice is Hard to Find in America is an enlightening book about the criminal justice system in the United States and shows how it affects every citizen. This book is written in a straightforward manner, with the author highlighting and stressing the law, how justice is delivered and the impact it has on the average American. Author Eric D. Oberer reveals to the reader undisclosed issues, the role the justice system plays in delivering fair judgment, the level of integrity in the corridors of justice, and how critical persons and parties set the pace for budding legal minds. This is an illuminating book that clearly explains what ails the American justice system, and what can be done to improve the situation.

There are many things that make Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice a fascinating book. The complex rulings the author provides in the book are among the many items that I found fascinating. Readers are given a clear view of what happens in the courtroom, how the jury arrives at such rulings and why a number of rulings are more complex than others. Some of the rulings that I found to be interesting include Massachusetts v. Lizzie Borden, California Vs. O.J. Simpson, and Florida v. Casey Anthony. There are multiple other minor and major cases discussed in the book, all of which provide many lessons. In all these cases the author gives his unprejudiced opinion, and draws attention to crucial aspects of the cases and the rulings.

Many of the topics in this book are matters that are rarely taught in the classroom. The author gives the reader multiple perspectives, and allows the reader to choose for themselves what they deem is the ideal approach. Eric D. Oberer tackles theories that are not taught in academia, compares them to real life situations and engages the reader while doing it. Apart from learning about disparities in justice, the reader gets a feel of how magistrates, attorneys, and the entire legal framework operates.

Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice will open your mind and get you interested in the criminal justice system. Reading about law and justice has never been more intriguing. The author uses layman language and gives sensible explanations to his opinions. Courts of Law Not Courts of Justice is an informative read that I recommend to readers that are enthusiastic about the law and anyone looking for civic education.

Pages: 188 | ISBN: 1639887687

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Impact On High Profile Criminal Cases

Doug Bremner Author Interview

Justice in the Age of Judgment examines the role of media and the public amidst publicized murder trials in recent history. How much research did you undertake for this book, and how much time did it take to put it all together?

We spent several years researching the cases in this book, and as we wrote new events unfolded, including the cases of George Floyd, Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery, that we felt were relevant and should be included as well

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

A central focus of the book is how the media, including social media, impact on high profile criminal cases, and how they can influence and promote quick opinions that are often different than the facts as they are presented in a court of law.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

That our legal system is worth fighting for, that decisions about guilt or innocence need to be made in a court of law, not in the court of public opinion

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

From Amanda Knox to O.J., Casey Anthony to Kyle Rittenhouse, our justice system faces scrutiny and pressure from the media and public like never before.  Can the bedrock of “innocent until proven guilty” survive in what acclaimed Seattle attorney and legal analyst Anne Bremner calls the age of judgement?  

When unscrupulous Italian prosecutors waged an all-out war in the media and courtroom to wrongly convict American exchange student Amanda Knox for a murder she didn’t commit, family and friends turned to renowned Seattle attorney and media legal analyst Anne Bremner to help win her freedom. The case was dubbed the “trial of the decade” and would coincide with the explosion of social media and a new era of trying cases in public as much as the courtroom. While Italian prosecutors, the press, and online lynch mobs convicted Knox in the court of public opinion, Bremner would draw upon her decades in the courtroom and in front of the camera to turn the tide with a new kind of defense in pursuit of justice.

In Justice in the Age of Judgement, Anne Bremner and Doug Bremner take us inside some of the biggest cases of recent times and offer their expert, thought-provoking insights and analysis as our legal system faces unprecedented forces fighting to tip the scales of justice their way. Why couldn’t prosecutors convict O.J. Simpson despite all of the evidence seemingly proving he killed his wife Nicole? Could a jury remain unbiased in the face of overwhelming public pressure in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd? Why was Kyle Rittenhouse exonerated after shooting three people (killing two) with an assault rifle at a violent rally despite widespread media reports seemingly proving his guilt, and national calls for his conviction?

Justice in the Age of Judgement is an unparalleled and unflinching look at the captivating cases tried on Twitter and TV, where the burden of proof and fundamental legal tenet of “innocent until proven guilty” is under assault from the court of public opinion.

Justice in the Age of Judgment

Anne Bremner’s and Doug Bremner’s Justice in the Age of Judgment is a critical examination of the role of media and the public amidst some of the most publicized murder trials in recent history. While Bremner uses the tumultuous trial of Amanda Knox, a young American falsely convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy, as a segue for covering the effects of the media on other well-documented trials involving the likes of O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, Susan Cox Powell, and Ahmaud Arbery, her primary focus is the imperfections of the American judicial system.

Bremner does a stellar job at introducing each case in a manner that is accessible to readers while maintaining a modicum of compassion and respect for the wrongfully convicted and victimized. Both authors provide just enough background information on each case that the reader leaves with a fact-based, impartial view of all sides of the subject matter. They manage to keep the tone enthusiastic and conversational enough that the reading experience does not feel cumbersome.

Bremner’s background as both a full-fledged attorney and a front-facing legal analyst gives her a unique lens by which to evaluate these cases. She excels in leading with facts – even when the courts and the public seem to disregard these facts – and encourages readers to examine flaws of contagion bias in a time where misinformation run amok is powerful enough to sway due process. She displays a shrewd understanding that in the digital day and age, the fight for justice involves keeping the facts in the public eye as much as possible so that these facts alone make it to the courts. Moreover, she displays a keen heart for true justice, the ideal that structures her life’s work.

Justice in the Age of Judgement is an accessible, thought-provoking analysis of the judicial system, as evidenced by the cases discussed. This in-depth look at media and law is insightful and educational.

Pages: 280 | ASIN : B07TH9WMHT

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Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir by David A.J. Richards is a personal life account revolving around the secret self and individual awareness of both straight and gay men. In this memoir, Richards takes a thoughtful approach to discover the psychology behind the patriarchy and traumas that shape men. He explains why they have become hidden and how they can be brought to light.

Richards combats the oppressiveness of traditional patriarchy and how it silences young men from questioning and straying from the mainstream status quo. He challenges how and why men act the way they do and points to societal pressure and the dismissal of the vulnerability of men. In discovering his sense of self, Richards expresses disdain and disgust for the length of how things have been and offers insight into how things can change. Addressed are various components of trauma revolving around the body, mind, sexuality, political opinions, and experiences of love and empathy. This book sheds light on guilt, shame, voice, injustice, abuse, democracy, resistance, and the complex American idea of masculinity. 

I thought that the arguments were well thought out and portrayed. It was eye-opening and fascinating to see the plights that men encounter daily and throughout their lifetimes, particularly in their formative years of young adulthood. The commentary was easy to read, and I enjoyed how this was from a first-person point of view. The thoughts of one man over a variety of hot-button topics and issues that are not often addressed were crafted insightfully and tenderly to bring about real change. 

Boys’ Secrets and Men’s Loves: A Memoir is recommended for anyone looking to expand their mindset on the ideas of traditional masculinity. This compelling personal story gives readers a unique look at these topics from the view of personal experience and the view of an educator of law.

Pages: 414 | ASIN : B07SXKHBHW

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How to Win Your Case

What I loved most about reading How to Win Your Case: A Psychiatrist Uses Famous Cases as Examples of How to Succeed in Litigation is how the author uses layman language to expound on his topics. Author Thomas Curtis writes in a way that both readers in the legal profession and those who are not can understand the context of his discussions. How to Win Your Case has all the tips you need as a defendant to beat any potential lawsuit. You need the knowledge in this book whether you are the accused or the attorney on the defense.

History lovers will also enjoy this book because of the historical references the author uses. The author, Thomas Curtis, gives examples of famous cases in the world and discusses various elements of the cases in depth. When reading this book, you get a different perspective of the law and how it is applied. You virtually take a trip to more than a dozen courtrooms and get a better understanding of litigations. This book can inspire one to take a career in law.

Apart from the neatly arranged paragraphs and amazing diction, one also gets to learn legal jargon. I like that the author explains vocabularies to those not familiar with the law. Despite talking about the law, one can see the psychiatric side of things in the book. I appreciate that the author blended psychiatry and law to give readers better content.

How to Win Your Case by Thomas Curtis has great content for law students and readers in the legal sector. Lawyers reading this book will find it beneficial as the author has wise counsel for them. The topics are also distinctly selected and re positioned in a manner that is easy to follow.

Pages: 138 | ASIN : B08Z79YCLR

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Conspiracy U

Conspiracy U: A Case Study by [Scott A. Shay]

Ever listened to some of the beliefs and theories uttered by renowned scholars and wondered how they could possibly say that out loud? Ever wondered how they can believe in these things despite possessing the capacity to research and disprove them?

Conspiracy U takes readers on a deep dive into the realm of conspiracy theories. The author uses his alma mater as a case study for this thought-provoking book. He discusses how these beliefs become so deeply embedded in people’s minds that they even start to champion for them. His aim with this book is to attempt to repair the cracks caused by anti-Zionist conspiracy theories that are peddled by trusted academicians.

The author’s concern for what these conspiracy theories can do to society is seen through his passionate writing. His words are a wake-up call to anyone who may be tempted to believe anti-Zionist conspiracy theories because of the authority those speaking about them have.

Author Scott Shay starts off with a definition and outline of conspiracy theories. His intention is to help readers understand the difference between healthy discussions about different possibilities and beliefs and intentionally aggressive misinformation.

This enlightening book is a voice of reason. It is a beacon of light in the murky waters these beliefs have led us into. It is a call to action for everyone to do their due diligence before taking sides in the conversation. It is a push to bridge the divide between those who dare to challenge the anti-Zionist theories. It is a plea to attempt to right the winds of institutional, national, and global politics.

Conspiracy U is a book that discusses social issues with far reaching impacts but it still feels very personal. The author is discussing this subject from a place of concern and a need to change things. This book is well researched and meticulously written. Illuminating and compelling, this is a must read book on a critical topic that is explored intelligently and passionately.

Pages: 198 | ASIN: B09DTLMXML

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Betrayal In Black

Betrayal in Black (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 4) by [Mark M. Bello]

In a fictional city, a black couple is coming back from a fair when they are mistakenly stopped by a police officer, unfortunately, it ends with a murder. What follows is the complex dichotomy inside the police department, the obstacles that a mother and recent widow has to endure for justice, and the length to which the parties that seek to benefit from this tragedy will go.

A Betrayal in Black by Mark M. Bello is a story that doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality that black people in America face and how they have to adapt in order to survive.

A Betrayal in Black opens up in a lighthearted way and then transitions to a much darker and cruder story. Throughout the story I felt that the author had a clear understanding of law and police affairs.

When it comes to the technical parts of the story, Bello does a great job of immersing the reader into the world of law and order, with details that show the deep knowledge he has over legal prosecutions and police internal affairs. However, while this is immersing, it sometimes gets tedious and almost didactic, for example, when describing what a grand jury is, it almost feels like you are reading a law school book. But this is a minor flaw in an otherwise engaging story. The dialogue was interesting, and could even be funny at times.

A remarkable thing about this book is how it details every single aspect that goes into a case, from the murder itself to the conviction, all throughout detailing the victims grieving and the lawyers seeking justice. A particularly moving chapter is when the wife of the victim is speaking with their mother and they are retelling a story of how racism has evolved in this country, and, as angry as she may be, she can’t show it, because she is a woman of color.

This book was written in 2019, but the murder it describes is all too recent. The different ways black people have to think to present themselves to white people in order to be considered “equals” and not be dismissed as rude, is all too familiar. The themes in this book come at a crucial time, where stories like these are needed to paint a more vivid picture of the struggles minorities face in America. A Betrayal in Black is a must read.

Pages: 272 | ASIN: B0827D7LGX

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