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The Injustice System: A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrongby Clive Stafford Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The maverick public defender who inspired John Grisham tells the story of his most frustrating case
A man accused of a murder he didn’t commit languishes on death row. A crusading lawyer is determined to free him. This powerful book reads like a page-turning legal thriller with one crucial difference: Justice is not served in the end.
In 1986, Kris Maharaj was arrested in Miami for the murder of his ex- business partner. A witness swore he saw him pull the trigger and a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death. But he swears he didn’t do it. Twenty years later, he’s bankrupted himself on appeals and been abandoned by everyone but his wife.
Enter Clive Stafford Smith, a charismatic public defender with a passion for lost causes who calls up old files and embarks on his own investigation. It takes him from Miami to Nassau to Washington as he uncovers corruption at every turn. Step by step, Clive slowly dismantles the case, guiding us through the whole scaffolding of the legal process and revealing a fundamentally broken system whose goal is not so much to find the right man as to convict.
A bombshell whose final chapter should re-open a long closed case, The Injustice System will appeal to fans of true crime and anyone who has served on a jury.
An Atlantic Book of the Year and finalist for the Orwell Prize: a riveting true crime tale from the defense attorney who inspired John Grishams The Chamber
Legendary criminal defense attorney Clive Stafford Smith has devoted his career to helping save penniless defendants from a justice system whose goal is not so much to find the right man as to get a conviction.
Miami, 1986. Kris Maharaj is arrested, tried, and sentenced to death for the brutal murder of his exbusiness partner, Derrick Moo Young, and Derricks son, Duane. Suspecting Kris may be innocent, as he claims, Stafford Smith begins his own investigation, which takes him from Miami to Nassau in the Bahamas to Colombia in search of the real killer. Interweaving the authors inspiring personal story with a spellbinding page-turner, The Injustice System exposes our broken legal process—and drops a bombshell that should reopen a long-closed case.
Here are the stories of innocent men and women—and the system that put them away under the guise of justice. Now updated with new information, Actual Innocence sheds light on “a system that tolerates lying prosecutors, slumbering defense attorneys and sloppy investigators” (Salt Lake Tribune)—revealing the shocking flaws that can derail the legal process and the ways that DNA testing has often shattered so-called solid evidence that condemned American citizens to death.
About the Author
Clive Stafford Smith has spent twenty-five years defending high-profile criminal cases in Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. A recipient of the Gandhi International Peace Award and a Lannan Cultural Freedom Award, he was a finalist for the Orwell Prize for his most recent book, Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice In Guantanamo Bay. He founded Reprieve, a nonprofit legal defense firm and lived for many years in New Orleans.
Table of Contents
Actual Innocence Author's Note
Introduction: Wrong Numbers
1. An Innocence Project
2. An Invention
3. Seeing Things
4. False Confessions
5. White Coat Fraud
7. Junk Science
8. Broken Oaths
9. Sleeping Lawyers
11. The Death of Innocents
12. Starting Over
14. Reckonings: An Update
Appendix 1: A Short List of Reforms to Protect the Innocent
Appendix 2: DNA Exonerations at a Glance
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