What We Are Reading Today: Charged by Emily Bazelon

Updated 08 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Charged by Emily Bazelon

  • Emily Bazelon, “exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis

Charged is a very interesting and eye-opening book about the power of prosecutors and their role in the US criminal justice system. 

Emily Bazelon, a renowned investigative journalist, “exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis,” and also offers a way out,” says a review published in goodreads.com.

“The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. 

“But in practice, it is prosecutors who have the upper hand, in a contest that is far from equal. More than anyone else, prosecutors decide who goes free and who goes to prison, and even who lives and who dies,” the review added.

In a review published in The New York Times, David Lat said: “If prosecutorial service is no longer a golden ticket to a successful political career, then being a prosecutor could lose some of its luster to young lawyers seeking power and prestige. Perhaps that’s a good thing.”


What We Are Reading Today: Jefferson’s Legal Commonplace Book by Thomas Jefferson

Updated 24 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Jefferson’s Legal Commonplace Book by Thomas Jefferson

  • This authoritative volume is the first to contain the complete text of Jefferson’s notebook

As a law student and young lawyer in the 1760s, Thomas Jefferson began writing abstracts of English common law reports. Even after abandoning his law practice, he continued to rely on his legal commonplace book to document the legal, historical, and philosophical reading that helped shape his new role as a statesman. Indeed, he made entries in the notebook in preparation for his mission to France, as president of the US, and near the end of his life. 

This authoritative volume is the first to contain the complete text of Jefferson’s notebook, says a review on the Princeton University Press review. With more than 900 entries on such thinkers as Beccaria, Montesquieu, and Lord Kames, Jefferson’s Legal Commonplace Book is a fascinating chronicle of the evolution of Jefferson’s searching mind.

Unlike the only previous edition of Jefferson’s notebook, published in 1926, this edition features a verified text of Jefferson’s entries and full annotation, including essential information on the authors and books he documents. 

In addition, the volume includes a substantial introduction that places Jefferson’s text in a legal, historical and biographical context.