Trials Without Truth: Why Our System of Criminal
Trials Has Become an Expensive Failure
and What We Need to Do to Rebuild It

William T. Pizzi


This critique of the American criminal justice system is both timely and typical in light of recent high-profile trials--O. J. Simpson and the Menendez brothers--and growing political sentiment. The book is reflective of the conservative sentiment that assumes that the rights of the accused have been emphasized at the expense of those of the victim. Pizzi, a law professor, uses comparative law (four European legal systems) to reflect on the weakness of our system and the potential for reform. His sports analogy, comparing American football with the European legal systems, makes this a useful read for those who are not legal scholars. The American legal system and American football are driven, if not obsessed, by procedure. The European systems have procedural guidelines but are much less obsessed about procedure. Pizzi notes that current application of American law puts exclusionary and other rules at center stage. He asserts that the truth should be center stage, with procedure reformed to support this objective--a well reasoned proposition.
Vernon Ford


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