Robert A. Carp is professor of political science at the University of Houston. He is coauthor ofPolicymaking and Politics in the Federal Courts; Politics and Judgment in Federal District Courts; the Federal Courts, fourth edition, with Ronald Stidham; and numerous articles on judicial process.
Ronald Stidham is professor emeritus of Government and Justice Studies at Appalachian State University. He is coauthor of The Federal Courts, Fifth Edition, with Robert A. Carp and Kenneth L. Manning; The State Courts, with Robert A. Carp and Kenneth L. Manning; and numerous articles in legal, social science, and criminal justice journals.
Kenneth L. Manning is professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is coauthor with Robert A. Carp and Ronald Stidham of The Federal Courts (Fifth Edition) and The State Courts, and coeditor of Political Perspectives: Essays on Government and Politics. Manning's work on the politics of judicial decision-making and federal judicial selection have been published in a variety of journals.
Attorney and journalist Amy Bach spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America. What she found was an assembly-line approach to justice: a system that rewards mediocre advocacy, bypasses due process, and shortchanges both defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving.
Here is the public defender who pleads most of his clients guilty with scant knowledge about their circumstances; the judge who sets outrageous bail for negligible crimes; the prosecutor who habitually declines to pursue significant cases; the court that works together to achieve a wrongful conviction. Going beyond the usual explanations of bad apples and meager funding, Ordinary Injustice reveals a clubby legal culture of compromise, and shows the tragic consequences that result when communities mistake the rules that lawyers play by for the rule of law. It is time, Bach argues, to institute a new method of checks and balances that will make injustice visible—the first and necessary step to reform.