Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America by Clive Stafford Smith - review by Robert Chesshyre

Robert Chesshyre

Crime & Punishment

Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America


Harvill Secker 376pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

There is a dark heart to American society, far removed from the sunny uplands of ‘have a nice day’. The ‘land of the free’ is also the land of the incarcerated, of the electric chair and the lethal injection, of three strikes and you’re out (life without parole for sometimes minor felonies), and of Guantánamo Bay. 

As a teenager, British public schoolboy Clive Stafford Smith became obsessed with the innermost chamber of this dark heart – American capital punishment, especially in Southern states where the administration of justice can seem a close relation to lynch-mob law. Poor defendants are railroaded into years on death row –

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