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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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Courtroom 302: A Year behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse

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Courtroom 302: A Year behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Steve Bogira’s riveting book takes us into the heart of America’s criminal justice system. Courtroom 302 is the story of one year in one courtroom in Chicago’s Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the busiest felony courthouse in the country.

We see the system through the eyes of the men and women who experience it, not only in the courtroom but in the lockup, the jury room, the judge’s chambers, the spectators’ gallery. When the judge and his staff go to the scene of the crime during a burglary trial, we go with them on the sheriff’s bus. We witness from behind the scenes the highest-profile case of the year: three young white men, one of them the son of a reputed mobster, charged with the racially motivated beating of a thirteen-year-old black boy. And we follow the cases that are the daily grind of the court, like that of the middle-aged man whose crack addiction brings him repeatedly back before the judge.

Bogira shows us how the war on drugs is choking the system, and how in most instances justice is dispensed–as, under the circumstances, it must be–rapidly and mindlessly. The stories that unfold in the courtroom are often tragic, but they no longer seem so to the people who work there. Says a deputy in 302: “You hear this stuff every day, and you’re like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s get this over with and move on to the next thing.’”

Steve Bogira is, as Robert Caro says, “a masterful reporter.” His special gift is his understanding of people–and his ability to make us see and understand them. Fast-paced, gripping, and bursting with character and incident, Courtroom 302 is a unique illumination of our criminal court system that raises fundamental issues of race, civil rights, and justice.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Steve Bogira graduated from Northwestern University and has been a prize winning writer for the Chicago Reader since 1981. He is a former Alicia Patterson Fellow. He lives with his wife in Evanston, Illinois.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307814197
Subtitle:
A Year behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Author:
Bogira, Steve
Publication Date:
20111214
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
416

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference

Courtroom 302: A Year behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse
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Product details 416 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307814197 Reviews:
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