Why is our criminal justice system so unfair? How do innocent men and women end up serving long sentences while the guilty roam free? According to law professor and scholar Adam Benforado, our systems problems stem from more than occasional bad apples; they start with deeply rooted biases we all hold and which influence the course of justice. Eugenio Duarte sat with him to discuss how these biases shape every step along the way, from how a crime is initially investigated, through the process of indicting and trying suspects, to ultimate determinations of punishment. His revelations, coming from empirical investigations and first-hand experience, are shocking and sobering. He documents them in his new book, Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice (Penguin Random House, 2016), and also compels readers to take action to right the wrongs in how we delivery justice.
Adam Benforado is Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University. He has published numerous scholarly articles, and his op-eds and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, thePhiladelphia Inquirer, and Legal Times. Follow him on Facebook.
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