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Silicon Valley Reads author Adam Benforado and Assistant District Attrorney James Gibbons-Shapiro on "Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice" at Los Altos Library
|ABOUT THE BOOK|
A child is gunned down by a police officer; an investigator ignores critical clues in a case; an innocent man confesses to a crime he did not commit; a jury acquits a killer. The evidence is all around us: Our system of justice is fundamentally broken.
But it’s not for the reasons we tend to think, as law professor Adam Benforado argues in this eye-opening, galvanizing book. Even if the system operated exactly as it was designed to, we would still end up with wrongful convictions, trampled rights, and unequal treatment. This is because the roots of injustice lie not inside the dark hearts of racist police officers or dishonest prosecutors, but within the minds of each and every one of us....Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases—from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case—Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society’s weakest members. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the legal system’s dysfunction and proposes a wealth of practical reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on by the World Affairs Council at Los Altos Library
This 2016 documentary by director Ava DuVernay has won critical acclaim, and many critics list it as one of the best films of the year. It is an in-depth look at the prison system in the U.S. and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. The film is titled after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime.) the documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated through mass incarceration. Nominated for a 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. This is DuVernay’s first Academy Award nomination in this category. Producers, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish are also first-time nominees.
(Seating is limited. Please arrive early.)
Why Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims Persist
Why are there so many negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims? Stereotypes permeate film, television, books (both academic and popular), media and the Internet. Why, despite significant efforts, have these stereotypes only increased rather than decreased in recent years? Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing, discusses the historical, psychological and monetary reasons behind the stereotypes. Co-sponsored by Los Altos Voices for Peace.