The Humanity of Justice by Burke E. Strunsky is comprised largely of true accounts from his career as a prosecutor in California. It’s listed in the true crime genre and it would also fit into a political or psychological genre. Many times when he was working on a case involving the most heartbreaking of child abuse and murder cases, the entire outcome was swayed by a jury of the wrong demographic types, interference of church leaders of certain denominations, or even by a judge having a bad day. Time and time again there were danger signs warning a parent about something their child was about to go through, and yet for whatever reason they were unwilling or unable to stop the tragedy.
Strunsky gives many interesting and insightful examples of how attorneys can ferret out the truth by mannerisms, facial expressions, and postures of the defendant. He also makes a compelling case against handguns, in that more violent crimes—including suicides—are committed with handguns than with other types of guns. His dominant point seems to be the avoidance of tragedy in criminal acts against children in particular, and more broadly any innocent victim and their friends and family.
Enough detail is given about the various crimes to shock and disturb, but not overly graphic and unnecessary detail. Burke Strunsky skillfully lets you identify with and care for the victims before finding what happened to them, to provoke a response of taking action against conditions that allow these things to happen. I think that The Humanity of Justice is a very effective book and one that could well be assigned to high school students as they prepare to enter independent life in adulthood.