Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System Summary and Reviews

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System

by M. Chris Fabricant

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System by M. Chris Fabricant X
Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System by M. Chris Fabricant
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Book Summary

Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant presents an insider's journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role junk science plays in maintaining the status quo.

From CSI to Forensic Files to the celebrated reputation of the FBI crime lab, forensic scientists have long been mythologized in American popular culture as infallible crime solvers. Juries put their faith in "expert witnesses" and innocent people have been executed as a result. Innocent people are still on death row today, condemned by junk science.

In 2012, the Innocence Project began searching for prisoners convicted by junk science, and three men, each convicted of capital murder, became M. Chris Fabricant's clients. Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System chronicles the fights to overturn their wrongful convictions and to end the use of the "science" that destroyed their lives. Weaving together courtroom battles from Mississippi to Texas to New York City and beyond, Fabricant takes the reader on a journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role forensic science plays in maintaining the status quo.

At turns gripping, enraging, illuminating, and moving, Junk Science is a meticulously researched insider's perspective of the American criminal justice system. Previously untold stories of wrongful executions, corrupt prosecutors, and quackery masquerading as science animate Fabricant's true crime narrative.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"'Follow the science' turns out to be a mistake in the criminal justice system, as Fabricant, the Innocence Project's director of strategic litigation, forcefully demonstrates in his impressive debut...The endemic injustices Fabricant lays bare will likely shake even advocates of robust law and order approaches." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A chilling account of forensic science—beloved of prosecutors, judges, and TV writers but often wildly inaccurate...The author's case reports and denunciation of junk science make fascinating reading...A brilliant rebuttal of junk science in the courtroom." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fact by fact, case by case, scandal by scandal, M. Chris Fabricant expertly dissects some of the grossest failures of challenged forensic science techniques, providing a hard-nosed insider's tour of a fifty-year legal war to improve the US criminal justice system. Junk Science is for anyone wanting to go behind the headlines of wrongful convictions, who hungers to probe their root causes, and who is fighting to win criminal justice reform, inside and out of the system. Fabricant writes here like a combatant with a duty to bear witness, burning to teach an adversarial system how to come to terms with scientific truth and to show the monstrous toll of its failures." - Spencer S. Hsu, investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist

"Junk Science is a powerful exposé of a broken criminal legal system, deeply researched and moving. A must-read for anyone interested in the role unreliable evidence plays in maintaining the status quo." - Christina Swarns, executive director of the Innocence Project

"We think that science in the courtroom always serves justice—well, think again! This fascinating book by Innocence Project attorney M. Chris Fabricant shows how junk science in our criminal justice system is used to convict the innocent. Forget CSI and what you think of science in the courtroom, this eye-opening book from the front line of the battle for true justice could not be more urgent." - Itiel Dror, Senior Cognitive Neuroscience Researcher, University College London

"No one in America will ever know the number of innocent people convicted, sent to prison, and even executed because of the flood of rotten forensics and bogus scientific opinions presented to juries. In this intriguing and beautifully crafted book, Innocence Project lawyer M. Chris Fabricant illustrates how wrongful convictions occur, and he makes it obvious how they could be prevented." - John Grisham, author of A Time for Mercy

This information about Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

M. Chris Fabricant

M. Chris Fabricant is the Innocence Project's Director of Strategic Litigation and one of the nation's leading experts on forensic sciences and the criminal justice system. Fabricant is featured in the Netflix documentary The Innocence Files and his public commentary has been published in virtually every major media outlet. A former public defender and clinical law professor, Fabricant brings to his writing over two decades of experience ranging from litigating death penalty cases in the Deep South to misdemeanors in the South Bronx. Born in New York City and raised in Sedona, Arizona, Fabricant has lived in Brooklyn since graduating from George Washington University Law School in 1997.

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