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Criminal Injustice in America: Essays by a Career Cop

Criminal Injustice

AuthorHouse| November 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-4389206-2-7 | $19.95 |

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Non-Fiction

Criminal Injustice in America: Essays by a Career Cop
Marshall Frank
Author House | November 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-4389062-7 ISBN-10: 1-438-92062-8
Soft cover | 253 pages

Criminal Injustice in America: Essays by a Career Cop is the ninth book by Marshall Frank, a retired Miami-Dade police captain. The book includes seventeen essays that cover the author’s opinions on restructuring laws concerning prostitution, drug possession, sex crimes, and abortion. Other issues Frank tackles are gansta rap, immigration, media influence on the image of the criminal justice system, and revamping the United States Constitution. Frank uses his thirty years of experience in law enforcement to seek answers to the American criminal justice system outside of its current parameters.

In “The Drug War Fiasco,” Frank proclaims the need to end the laws against illicit drugs much like the repeal of prohibition in 1933. It is not a new idea, but the author uses his knowledge as a former cop and his research skills as a writer to explain how the current war on drugs costs taxpayers and destroys the lives of “criminals” and their families. Frank even challenges the belief that legalizing drugs will increase criminal activity: “There is nothing that could make our cities safer than repealing the drug laws—all of them (39).”

The expense of maintaining the current criminal justice system is addressed in essays on the death penalty and sex crimes. “Failure of the Death Penalty” outlines the costs required to exhaust all appeals for death row inmates in addition to providing housing, food, clothing, and medical care. In dealing with sexual predators, Frank has created a classification system for criminals based on the extent of injury caused to the victim that he discusses in the essay “Sex Crimes.” According to the author, a classification system would provide a distinction between sex offenders who cannot be reformed and those whose behavior (teen sex, exhibitionists, etc.) happens to fall under the sexual predator catch-all.

“Americans of the 21st century live under a system of laws that began when the nation’s population was less than today’s state of Maryland (187).” Frank explores the changes that should be made to the constitution in “The U. S. Constitution: Time for Revision.” The author proposes lowering the age for becoming a member of congress or president; specifying that the Bill of Rights applies only to citizens and “lawful” visitors; and limiting the time from conviction to execution for death row inmates to two years. At the end of each essay, Frank offers a compilation of proposals for reform under the heading “The Magic Wand.” 

The author deals directly with the issues of racial profiling and the image of rogue cops in our society. He honestly discusses his own racist behavior on the job at the beginning of his 30 year law enforcement career. Frank is equally open about the transformation of his thinking about race and his belief that police departments all over the country have also changed perspective on the use of racial profiling.

The author’s suggestions for an over-haul of America’s criminal justice system are logical, well-researched and supported by statistics. Many of Frank’s ideas are also controversial and go against the conservative ideals upon which several of the laws he challenges are based.

Criminal Injustice in America is a provocative book that challenges readers to stretch their beliefs and consider possibilities for legal reform that are beyond the capacity of our current criminal justice system. I highly recommend it.

 

Melissa Levine
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers
www.bookreviewers.org

 

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