I’ve only read the first 50 pages or so of Just Violence: Torture and Human Rights in the Eyes of the Police, by Rachel Wahl (which is based on interviews with hundreds of Indian police officers), but already it’s looking like everything I’ve learned about the Indian policing and criminal justice sytem from Bollywood movies […]
The Unknown Bridesmaid, by Margaret Forster This was recommended by a friend, and with good reason it turns out. A child psychologist in the process of becoming a magistrate sorts through her troubled childhood, in what turns into a meditation on the razor-thin margin separating the criminal and antisocial from the legal and (putatively) normal. […]
Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction, by David M. Kennedy. I’d like to post my review of this book (recommended by a commenter on my earlier post on Trump and Chicago) in the form of an open letter to Donald Trump. Dear President Trump, Since your election as President you have often […]
The Dracula Killer, by Lt. Ray Biondi and Walt Hecox Despite the sensational title, this is a solid, economical account of the investigation and arrest of Richard Chase by the supervising detective in the case. Chase killed 6 people by gunshot during a one-month period in Sacramento County, California, in the late 70s. He earned […]
Man or Monster: the Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer, by Alexander Laban Hinton Hinton calls the experimental format of his account of the war crimes trial of one of the Khmer Rouge’s chief torturers an “ethnodrama,” layering witness interviews, museum representations and accompanying graffiti, a careful account of the constitution of the tribunal as […]
I’m currently reading Man or Monster: the Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer, about the trial of a man named Duch, who literally wrote the book on how to torture and interrogate detainees during the brief rule and genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Duch was in charge of S-21, a Khmer Rouge […]
This is a bracing read in that it portrays just how difficult it is to reverse a death sentence based on a pretty obviously false confession, but it doesn’t touch on the more common legal problem of coerced confessions.