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Alec Karakatsanis / Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System

March 9, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT


Booksmith hosts an evening with Alec Karakatsanis for his new book, Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System. More information to be announced soon, but please save the date and join us!

Former public defender and civil rights attorney Alec Karakatsanis has made it his mission to challenge the fact that we have developed two legal systems in this country: one for the rich, and one for the poor. He and his organization, Civil Rights Corps, have brought lawsuits across the nation challenging cash bail, modern-day debtors’ prisons, and prosecutorial misconduct. They have won landmark cases that strike at the heart of America’s crisis of mass human caging, freeing tens of thousands of people from jail and returning tens of millions of dollars to his clients and their families. Composed of three essays written across the span of this rising star’s dynamic legal career, Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System calls for a radical and collective reckoning with the way our criminal punishment system has evolved.

photo of Alec Karkatsanis A former public defender, Alec Karakatsanis is the founder of Civil Rights Corps, an organization designed to challenge systemic injustice in the criminal legal system. He was named the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice and was awarded the Stephen B. Bright Award for contributions to indigent defense in the South by Gideon’s Promise. Karakatsanis is interested in ending human caging, surveillance, the death penalty, immigration laws, war, and inequity. The author of Usual Creuelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System, he lives in Washington, DC.



This event is free and all ages.

RSVP appreciated but not required.

If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Usual Cruelty, order below and be sure to put your request in the special field.


March 9, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT
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The Booksmith
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The Booksmith
1644 Haight St
San Francisco , CA 94117 United States
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