VOYA - Nancy ZacharyIn today's litigious society, queries about the courts provide an important pathway to understanding America's legal system. Students will find this well-balanced, readable text presents a history of the American jury system while analyzing current issues of racial justice, constitutional rights, and the media in courtroom proceedings. Solid definitions are noted for a wide range of topics, including the Bill of Rights, civil cases, exclusive rule, gag orders, and the voir dire process. Celebrated legal cases, from Charles Lindbergh to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Rodney King, the Menendez brothers, and O. J. Simpson, are highlighted in the text and in photographs. This useful volume in the Issues and Debate series will be handy for research purposes as well as for an interesting perspective on the fair trial controversy. Index. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library JournalGr 7 UpThe trials of William Kennedy Smith, O.J. Simpson, the Menendez Brothers, and the police officers who battered Rodney King have all sparked heated criticisms of the way American courts mete out justice. Without sensationalizing, Pascoe focuses on serious issues raised by the conduct and outcome of these and other controversial trials. The heart of the book is a thoughtful discussion of how race, media exposure, and money affect the administration of the law. There is also balanced coverage of the jury system and the competing rights of defendants and victims. An introductory chapter efficiently explains how courts are organized, historical influences on the American judicial system, and the basic constitutional guarantees. Good-quality black-and-white photographs are appropriate and well placed. This book will be equally useful in school and public libraries.Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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