Friday, September 7, 2012

The Humanity of Justice by Burke E Strunsky

I have to start out by saying that this is in no way a book for the faint of heart, anybody who can not stomach true horror, at it's worse, should definitely not read this book. If you are a CSI, or Law and Order fan, or any other type of true crime, or law shows, movies, or books, or law and The United States justice system, this is a book you will not forget.
Burke E Strunsky, is a senior deputy district attorney, in California, who has witnessed an actual crime, and has seen inside the horrific minds of mankind. On every level. I believe that if I were to take up a career as a criminal attorney, and I read this book, I may be thinking twice about my choices.
Burke, takes you deep down in the sick and twisted lives and crimes of some of the most despicable acts known to man. There are some certain warnings you should heed before picking up this book. Mainly the fact that most of the heinous crimes involve children, and since Burke E Strunsky has been in the courtroom and witnessed these first hand, you will be reading first hand accounts and he doesn't seem to leave much detail out. A lot of this may tend to be unsettling, however, the purpose of this book isn't to necessarily make you ill, as it is to make you aware of our justice system, and how "humanlike" it really is, hence, not being perfect.
Along with lots of footnotes, (my favorite!), and facts and the author's experience, there is lot to learn from this book, a lot to take in, so it will not be one of those, "read in a couple hours" type of books. It is written very, very well, to well I thought at some times. But, then I just reminded myself that the author is an attorney and is very well versed in this type of genre.
We see so many criminal cases in the news, attorneys that we sometimes might tend to wonder, "What in the world ever possessed them to take such a case??" Even though we know deep down, somebody has to do it. But while reading this book, I realized that this courageous attorney actually gets several things accomplished. One of which, at least to me, was that he created the book in such a way that make us realize how human attorneys, and the justice system are. I would have to say that this became very apparent during the first few pages of the book, which was actually very funny, to say the least!
From there he just jumps right in and starts the reader on a journey that may make your stomach turn at times, but still keeps you turning each page just to catch a glimpse of what is coming next.
I believe the most interesting to me was how he and his then, girlfriend, were witnesses to a shooting, and how our minds play tricks on us. Even for 2 firsthand witness accounts, 1 of them being an attorney, neither were able to positively identify the shooter, or even the actual gun he was using. Which then is explained more further, and you realize that many people have been found guilty of crimes they never committed, simply because somebody, "thought" they saw something. Not that we as human beings, try to come up with fake descriptions, or distort facts, but when that we tend to think we saw things that we didn't really see. Especially when it happens during some sort of trauma.
He describes at great length, different cases, how he was affected, and does an outstanding job with recounts of the court room. There will be a lot that hit home, especially when the victims are children.
Burke E Strunsky, donates 100% of the proceeds to The Humanity of Justice Foundation, a non profit organization to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
Each page of this book struck a chord with me, and I would love to read more by this author. I am hoping he writes a few more, maybe touching on other types of cases as well. This could make for a very interesting and haunting series!
I recommend this book to anybody who does enjoy learning about our justice system, the courts, and cases and of course, the attorneys perspective.

** I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review **

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