Non Fiction

Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System by M. Chris Fabricant

Narrated by Chris Henry Coffey

I was interested in the premise of true crime and junk science. This is a very heart-rending look at the lives of people who were wronged by Junk Science.
The author has two important storylines to convey. One is the rise of Junk Science and the acceptance of it in the court of law. The other contains the stories of individuals who might have or were helped when the truth came to light about the evidence used to convict them in the first place.
It was fascinating and lived up to the title. There are two types of readers to whom this content will appeal, people who know something of the American justice system or those interested in it in the first place. A plain interest in junk science will not endear its content because of the routes it takes.
It is extremely scary to imagine being in the shoes of those innocent people who were put on death row or closed just because the lead officer decided it made sense. I have been a fan of American Crime shows before, and some of the takeaways I subconsciously gathered from them were highlighted in this story.
The narrator did a great job of bringing the incredulity on the part of the defence when ‘scientists’ spoke the way they did to the forefront. The only drawback with the format of the book was the back and forth when it came to the cases and the progression of the science. One has to remember who’s who and their cases since their journey’s conclusion is only discussed at the very end. Unfortunately, not all have happy endings.
It was an illuminating book, but I just wish it had been a little easier to follow or linear. I think much of this content will already be familiar to activists in this field. It is pretty heavy for an average consumer. That is something one must know going in. Heavy in terms of what is at stake for the people concerned!
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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