October 29, 2019

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm , Eastern Time

Emily Bazelon on her New York Times Bestseller "Charged"


Help Fordham ACS welcome a panel on New York Times Bestseller, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. 

The panel will be moderated by Fordham's own Professor John Pfaff, whose research focuses primarily on empirical matters related to criminal justice, especially criminal sentencing. Speakers will include: Emily Bazelon, author of Charged and NYT Magazine writer, Noura Jackson, who served 11 years after being framed and wrongfully convicted of murdering her mother, and Cadeem Gibbs, a racial justice activist at the National Juvenile Justice Network.

The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. That image of the law does not match the reality in the courtroom, however. Much of the time, it is prosecutors more than judges who control the outcome of a case, from choosing the charge to setting bail to determining the plea bargain. They often decide who goes free and who goes to prison, even who lives and who dies. In Charged, Emily Bazelon reveals how this kind of unchecked power is the underreported cause of enormous injustice—and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle.

Charged follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system: Kevin, a twenty-year-old in Brooklyn who picked up his friend’s gun as the cops burst in and was charged with a serious violent felony, and Noura, a teenage girl in Memphis indicted for the murder of her mother. Bazelon tracks both cases—from arrest and charging to trial and sentencing—and, with her trademark blend of deeply reported narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, illustrates just how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don’t have to.