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Everyone against Us: Public Defenders and the Making of American Justice
University of Chicago Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-0-226-82624-0 | Cloth: 978-0-226-82623-3
Library of Congress Classification KF373.G6195A3 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 340.09227731
ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A former public defender testifies to the vivid human suffering at the heart of America’s criminal justice system.
As a public defender, Allen Goodman faced cross-examination from family and friends every day: How could he work to help criminals? How could he live with himself? Presumed guilty by association, Goodman quickly learned that people didn’t really want an answer; they wanted a justification, perhaps even an apology. Ever the idealist, Goodman answered anyway: Everyone deserves justice.
Everyone against Us is Goodman’s testimony of his life as a public defender. In it, he documents his efforts to defend clients, both guilty and innocent, against routine police abuse, prosecutorial misconduct, and unjust sentencing. To work in criminal justice, Goodman shows, is to confront and combat vivid human suffering, of both victims and perpetrators. From sex trafficking, murder, and abuse to false conviction, torture, and systemic racism, Goodman describes the daily experiences that both rattled his worldview and motivated him to work ever harder. Part memoir, part exposé, Everyone against Us is the moving story of an embattled civil servant who staves off the worst abuses of the criminal justice system, at great personal cost.
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