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There is less of an opportunity for story-telling here and more just a rat-a-tat-tat of facts, which can't really sustain a strong narrative flow. But overall, Let's Get Free is a very solid read, and dare I say an important one -- not just because of the arguments he makes but because of where he comes from making them. Again, Butler is not some airy-headed academic. He's someone with considerable experience in the trenches of criminal law, and someone who makes clear he has precisely zero qualms about putting bad people behind bars.
He just wants to make sure they're actually bad people, and that when they do go away the communities they leave behind are left stronger and safer as a result.
Butler, a former prosecutor, writes eloquently about why he stopped being a prosecutor, a role in which he often prosecuted other black men and served, he feels, to legitimate the system that incarcerates Americans—and especially black men—at appalling and counterproductive rates.
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While his experience is mostly with adults, the frustration with a system that is too "black and white" with little leeway for any extenuating circumstances, is palpable in his book. And his argument that this broken system is leading our country down a path that leaves us LESS safe is convincing.
Basically, he argues that the justice system is focused too much on locking up criminals, period, even when their crimes do not necessarily justify a hard jail sentence at least in theory.
Putting these minor criminals in jail, giving them access to violent criminals, jail-house gangs, etc. In other words, jail breeders more crime, not less. Butler argues a radical social movement is needed to reverse this trend. The movement icludes Jury Nullification, a process that involves finding a defendant "not guilty" regardless of the weight of the evidence against him.
He suggests this tactic be strategically applied to minor offenses that carry big sentences, like possession of pot. He is careful to point out Jury Nullification should never ever be used in violent crimes i. He argues that those charged with these types of "low-level" crimes need alternatives to jail, such as meaningful community service, access to social services, job training, and substance abuse counseling. Having seen first-hand how lock-up breeds more violence and crime, I have to admit, I am all for this.
I am so much in agreement that I already know when I am called for jury duty, I will make it known that I believe in Jury Nullification for certain crimes Butler actually lays out a fairly easy way in which to do this.
Even though I'm fairly certain my background in social work will preclude me from serving on most juries, I have this option in my back pocket for when the time comes. What happens when a prosecutor gets thrown headfirst into the throws of an unjust criminal justice system that he had helped to perpetuate?
You get an insightful reevaluation of that system from one of the key players who knows it best! As a former prosecutor, Prof. Butler examines mass incarceration and how the locking up of 'criminals' is in fact contributing to a more criminalized society. In addressing non-violent crimes, many of which stem from overly ambitious drug laws, Butler extols the v What happens when a prosecutor gets thrown headfirst into the throws of an unjust criminal justice system that he had helped to perpetuate?
In addressing non-violent crimes, many of which stem from overly ambitious drug laws, Butler extols the virtues of jury nullification, or issuing a not-guilty verdict, a practice preserved in the Constitution as a means by which the populace can protect itself from the ruling body. Butler also addresses the pitfalls of police and prosecutors using 'snitches,' which incentives criminals to produce information on other criminals, whether or not that information is actually true.
He concludes that while subversive measures are certainly praiseworthy, the prosecutors office is no place for someone looking to fight the good fight or revamp the criminal justice system as we know it.
Acknowledging that the down falls of the system are no secret, Butler points to a hip-hop nation that speaks out against injustice. Far from a perfect institution, hip-hop nevertheless raises a number of relevant questions that can, and should, be addressed in light of racially and class biased mass incarceration.
While academic research underpins the majority of the claims made in 'Let's Get Free,' the Butler's writing is down to earth and accessible.
His ability to speak on the situation from an active participant and not a passive observer giver credibility to his claims. My only question would be in his seven ways to 'take back justice,' not one addresses where a budding law student should look for inspiration. Sure, it's not in the prosecutor's office, but, need one really turn to academia to fight the good fight!? Nov 16, John Bruning rated it liked it Shelves: law. Sort of a strange, if not bipolar, take on the criminal justice system.
Which is not to say that it isn't brilliant at times, but Butler seems to get hung up on some of the very things he sets out to critique. He presents the problems of the criminal court and prison systems extraordinarily well, with great discussions about snitching, jury nullification, and, especially, whether progressive lawyers should become prosecutors.
For example, for all of the criticism of the War on Drugs and the disastrous results that has had on our communities, he still goes so far as to promote drug-sniffing technology that could potentially land more people in jail. And while he considers this to be, at the very least, a means of evening the playing field and limiting some of the racial disparity that exists, he elsewhere acknowledges that the problem already is selective targeting, both by race and by neighborhood. So, why would this technology be used any differently?
Why would this technology all of a sudden lead to police putting equal resources into "catching" white drug users? Butler has some really great ideas, which are given extra force by his background as a prosecutor; but at the same time, the take-away from his book is substantially weakened by that same background.
I do appreciate that he has a different albeit less radical perspective and hits up some less common but vitally important areas like snitching, jury nullification, etc compared to short classics like Angela Davis' "Are Prisons Obsolete? Still a refreshing and informative read that you can bury pretty quick especially if you skim through the last few chapters which are more prosecutorial. This one came as a recommendation from Will. Overall, it made a lot of interesting points.
The title is a bit misleading, as hip hop is really only featured in one chapter. But Butler does a great job of bringing together factual sources with well-formed opinions on the current criminal justice system and prospects for the future. Also, I was completely unaware that jury nul This one came as a recommendation from Will. I thought at best it was frowned upon and at worst it was illegal.
But turns out it is a completely legitimate option with a rich history that most citizens are completely unaware of. Would recommend to those interested in social justice, our current prison and criminal justice systems, and social reform. I just finished this. Was on my way to tampa so I thought I'd read something different from the areas I'm researching right now.
First, I love Paul's writing voice. He's too the point, accessible, and there is definitely some snark and sarcasm. Great stuff. Second, most of what he had to say was great info and telling regarding the role of prosecutors in the criminal injustice system. Third, while many of his views were left and enlightened, I don't think he went far enough.
And he admits as muc I just finished this. And he admits as much when he claims that there are some bad people out there who have to be locked up. He wasn't advocating abolishing the prison industrial complex, just reforming the hell out of it and reducing the number of people incarcerated. His chapter on technology, regarding acceptance of even more forms of invasive monitoring and surveillance was disappointing.
He advocates low-jacking humanity, but tempers that with the knowledge that people monitored from their homes are less likely to end up in jail. Two problems I had with that was a he doesn't seem to see the system as one driven by profits--it's good to lock people away--especially for the for-profit prison industry; second, he asks us to assume, passively, tries to sneak it by, that in the future, the current system of "justice" will absolutely still be in place and the police, scientists, and politicians are going to continue to devise new and more extreme laws and punishments for people in society.
He writes as if this is inevitable. And because it's inevitable, we should accept that even more invasive surveillance and monitoring technology will be created and used and in response the people should make challenges to these violations.
It was a little too much for me to swallow. However, I am curious about his jury nullification perspective. All in all, a pretty interesting and quick read. Oct 26, Miri rated it really liked it Shelves: sociology-culture , race. This was a good book and Butler had some really good ideas for improving America's criminal justice system. However, his theories were clearly incomplete. For instance, the jury nullification that he so worships is also responsible for a terrible murderer--O.
Simpson--going free. But apparently, it's only bad when innocent African Americans are charged with a crime, not when terrible African American murderers go free. This is the sense I got from Butler's analysis of jury nullification. Also, This was a good book and Butler had some really good ideas for improving America's criminal justice system.
Also, right as Butler rants against racial profiling of black people by white people, he himself admits to racially profile white people! When he heard of the sniper in Washington DC a few years back, he writes, he told a friend that a "crazy white boy" must've done it because there's just no way a black man could do such a thing.
The fact that it DID turn out to be a black man makes Butler look even worse, but that's irrelevant. Why is it ok to discriminate against white people but not black people? If Butler calls racial profiling "racism" which, arguably, it isn't, because those aren't quite the same things , then he himself is a racist. Thankfully, near the end of the book, Butler does admit that the hip hop music he glorifies does have some serious problems gee, maybe objectifying women as sex objects and bragging about one's prodigious amount of money aren't such great things to do.
But he never really mentions the drawbacks of the part of hip hop music that he DOES like--that is, the part that glorifies criminals.
To Butler, this is just an understandable rebellion against America's criminal justice system, not a tacit acknowledgement that selling drugs and killing people are acceptable ways of life.
And that really bothered me about this book. Jul 27, Joshua rated it really liked it. I sort of wish I had read this years ago published because much of the information was more relevant to the early s. However, most of the ideas and theories are very useful. Notably the use of jury nullification. A process by which jurors refuse to convict a non-violent drug offender, regardless of the evidence against them, in protest of America's mass incarceration. Butler notes that there are no laws forbidding jury nullification and it can be an excellent for of civil disobedience I sort of wish I had read this years ago published because much of the information was more relevant to the early s.
Butler notes that there are no laws forbidding jury nullification and it can be an excellent for of civil disobedience. Black and Latino people are far more likely to be arrested, convicted, and serve jail time than whites for drug use even though there is no disparity between drug usage by different races. That police can legally lie to suspects.
And that America has more prisoners than any nation on Earth. View PDF. Save to Library. Create Alert. Launch Research Feed. Share This Paper.Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Ufc fight night stockholm free stream features of the site may not work correctly. Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight-until one day he was arrested on the Less if you figure it de emphasizes retributive punishment lets get free a hip hop theory of justice choose. I am really makes it is, on black yet given more eloquence. It's not worked paul butler points via lets get free a hip hop theory of justice impact it to take issue. Since prohibition and profiled in our washington i'm only bad ironically. View PDF. Save to Library. Create Alert. Launch Research Feed. Share This Paper. Citations Publications citing this paper. McCann Sociology SteinmetzHoward M Henderson Sociology Lynn Sociology Loosening the ties that bind: the hidden harms of tree gang injunctions in San Diego County Richelle S. Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice [Butler, Paul] on elmarkinninger.biz *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Let's Get Free. A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Paul Butler. In a book Library Journal calls “required reading for all concerned about their neighborhoods and our. Let's Get Free book. Read 55 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad. Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Front Cover. Paul Butler. Createspace Independent Pub, - Law - pages. 2 Reviews. Paul Butler was an. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his new book, "Let's Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice," and his vision for justice policy. MICHEL. Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight—until one. LET'S GET FREE: A HIP-HOP THEORY OF. JUSTICE. Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law. Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight-until one day he was arrested. Let's Get Free is the first book by Paul Butler, a George Washington University law professor and former prosecutor who has since made it his professional mission. But the author seemed to try too hard to reject conventional academic style. He writes as if this is inevitable. Second, most of what he had to say was great info and telling regarding the role of prosecutors in the criminal injustice system. But a " hip-hop theory of justice"? Better World Books. Sign up Log in. If you've ever given more than a moments thought to the ways in which our legal system is racially unjust, the arguments in this book won't come as much of a surprise. In the fourth chapter of Let's Get Free, Butler comes up with the central tenet of his revolutionary idea, one known in the legal trade as "nullification. I was shocked, since Butler is a law professor at the George Washington University, but read the opinion again. The authors big thing is jury nullification. What happens when a prosecutor gets thrown headfirst into the throws of an unjust criminal justice system that he had helped to perpetuate? Stay connected! Alexander highlights the problem, but doesn't have a solution other than "now the rest of you figure it out," which bugged me.