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In his 60-plus years as a trial lawyer, Gerry Spence has never represented a person accused of a crime in which the police hadn’t themselves violated the law. Whether by covering up their corrupt dealings, by the falsification or manufacture of evidence, or by the outright murder of civilians, those individuals charged with upholding the law too often break it. The police and prosecutors won’t charge or convict themselves, so the crimes of the criminal justice system are swept under the rug. Nothing changes.
Police State narrates the shocking account of the Madrid train bombings: how the FBI accused an innocent man of treasonous acts they knew he hadn’t committed. It details the rampant racism within Chicago’s police department, which landed a teenager, Dennis Williams, on death row. It unveils the coercive efforts of two cops to extract a false murder confession from frightened, fragile Albert Hancock, along with other appalling evidence from eight of Spence’s most famous cases. And it raises the question: when the people we pay to protect us instead persecute us, how can we be safe?
In Police State, Spence issues a stinging indictment of the American justice system. Demonstrating that the way we select and train our officers guarantees fatal abuses of justice, he prescribes a challenging cure that stands to restore the promise of liberty and justice for all.