Emily Bazelon - "Charged" - Geoffrey R. Stone

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Emily Bazelon and Geoffrey R. Stone

Emily Bazelon discusses Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. She will be joined in conversation by Geoffrey R. Stone.

At the Co-op

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About the book: A renowned investigative journalist exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis, and also offers a way out.

The American criminal justice system is supposed to be a contest between two equal adversaries, the prosecution and the defense, with judges ensuring a fair fight. But in fact, it is prosecutors who have the upper hand, in a contest that is far from equal. More than anyone else, prosecutors decide who goes free and who goes to prison, and even who lives and who dies. The system wasn’t designed for this kind of unchecked power, and in Charged, Emily Bazelon shows that it is an underreported cause of enormous injustice–and the missing piece in the mass incarceration puzzle.

But that’s only half the story. Prosecution in America is at a crossroads. The power of prosecutors makes them the actors in the system–the only actors–who can fix what’s broken without changing a single law. They can end mass incarceration, protect against coercive plea bargains and convicting the innocent, and tackle racial bias. And because in almost every state we, the people, elect prosecutors, it is within our power to reshape the choices they make. In the last few years, for the first time in American history, a wave of reform-minded prosecutors has taken office in major cities throughout the country. Bazelon follows them, showing the difference they make for people caught in the system and how they are coming together as a new kind of lobby for justice and mercy. 

In Charged, Emily Bazelon mounts a major critique of the American criminal justice system–and charts the movement for change.

About the author: Emily Bazelon is the author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, to be published by Random House in April 2019. She is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, and a co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, a popular weekly podcast. Her previous book is the national bestseller Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. Before joining the Times Magazine, Emily was a writer and editor for nine years at Slate, where she co-founded the women’s section DoubleX. Emily has previously been a Soros media fellow and has worked as an editor and writer at Legal Affairs magazine and as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. She was a regular guest on the Colbert Report. Emily is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

About the interlocutor: Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He is the former Dean of the University of Chicago and Provost of the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books on constitutional law. His most recent work, with Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University, is The Free Speech Century (2018). Among his many other books on constitutional are Sex and the Constitution (2017), which deals with the history sex, religion, and constitutional law, and Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (2004), which received eight national book awards, and Top Secret: When Government Keeps Us In the Dark (2007). Mr. Stone is also an editor of The Supreme Court Review and of a twenty-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which is published by the Oxford University Press. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Law Institute, and he is on the National Advisory Council of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Constitution Society.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637