Burke E. Strunsky loves the law. He is passionate about justice and relentless in the pursuit of it with regard to those whom he prosecutes. Strunsky is a senior deputy district attorney in California and in his new book, The Humanity of Justice, he takes readers on a moving, insightful journey behind the scenes of the American justice system and inside the courtroom for the stories of some of the most unsettling criminal cases in the state and the nation. I believe it’s a journey that many readers will find memorable.
Dale Carnegie extolled the virtues of enthusiasm and passion and Burke E. Strunsky leverages both attributes in his writing of this stirring book. Strunsky’s style is part journalist, part everyman, with just a dash of lawyer, and the result makes his discussion of the law approachable and the law itself simply a matter of common sense. But one of the revelations Strunsky hits hard on in his stories is the often absurd lack of common sense inherent in our legal procedures. It is such eye-openers as this that make the book’s accounts of each case engaging, and in many cases, enraging. I believe for most readers, the significance of the book’s title, and the humanity to which the author refers, will not be lost.
The perspective of the case studies in The Humanity of Justice is clearly established by the first chapter, "Smoking Out the Smoking Gun." For most readers, this chapter will make it apparent that what they thought they knew about basic criminal law matters such as hard versus circumstantial evidence, is not valid and what they simply did not know was even more shocking. Simply put, chapter one left me feeling hoodwinked by TV crime programs, and mad at myself for my own obviously deficient efforts to acquire a self-taught knowledge of the law. I was hooked!