cover image The Injustice System: A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrong

The Injustice System: A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrong

Clive Stafford Smith. Viking, $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-670-02370-7

Smith, a longtime defense attorney specializing in capital crimes in Louisiana, focuses on the case of Krishna Maharaj, a successful businessman convicted of the 1986 Miami murder of his former partner, Derrick Moo Young, and Moo Young's son. As Smith, who handled Maharaj's appeals, digs through Maharaj's case, he uncovers a shocking web of prosecutorial misconduct, apparent defense incompetence, judicial corruption, and the possible involvement of Colombian drug cartels. Despite uncovering all of these things, Smith was still unable to get the legal system to give Maharaj a fair retrial, and while his sentence has been reduced to life imprisonment, he is still in jail for a crime insists he did not commit, a claim supported by several alibi witnesses. By focusing on and exhaustively researching the Maharaj case, Smith (The Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side) exposes flaws in the legal system as a whole, and forces readers to confront unpleasant truths and their preconceived notions of criminals, justice, and jurisprudence. (Nov.)