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7 Raw Novels That Question The Justice System

7 Raw Novels That Question The Justice System

From policing to prisons, to the court systems – in many countries people feel that their justice systems perpetuate more injustice than they address. Writers, through novels, portray the complex impact of legalized injustice. Read these 7 novels that question the justice system.

1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates recapitulates a U.S.history of violence against Black people and the incommensurate policing of Black youth.

2. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Based in post-war Germany, a young law student watches his lover on trial for a hideous crime.

3. Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith

The author describes his own experience coming of age as a Black man in the U.S, while witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more.

4. The Butterfly Prison by Tamara Pearson

In Australia, the police harass Aboriginals, Muslims, and the poor. In this case, they take it too far, and one innocent man is sent to a prison that in many ways expresses society’s broader problems.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An oldie but a goodie; this novel raises questions about good justice. To Kill a Mockingbird follows the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus, who is defending a young Black man accused of raping a white woman.

6. Perfidia by James Ellroy

A depiction of a Los Angeles police state: There is little law among these police who run the city with thuggery, racism, and misogyny – addicted to power, alcohol, or drugs.

7. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

A novel set on death row, narrated by a prisoner, about the prisoner in the cell next to him and an investigation that may result in a last minute reprieve from his sentence, The Enchanted humanizes the prisoners and deconstructs the prison system and the death penalty.

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