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October Book of the Month: American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton

American Justice on TrialAmerican Justice on Trial: People v. Newton
By Lise Pearlman

Retired Judge Lise Pearlman’s American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton is the definitive book on the polarizing murder trial of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton. One could not invent a better or more exciting film script than the cast of characters in this book—the attorneys, the jurors, Newton himself—all set amid the social movements of the 1960s.

Judge Pearlman revisits this riveting 1968 trial and the political upheavals of the time in light of the widely-publicized police shooting s of 2016. The book examines Newton’s murder trial in detail, delving into the Panthers’ roots, the trial, and its aftermath, including a behind-the-scenes look at jury deliberations, copies of the original courtroom drawings from the Bancroft Library collections, and extensive newspaper photos. Judge Pearlman’s thoughtful epilogue explores where Alameda County is today regarding policing issues, and how this reflects the Panther Party’s legacy, the lasting impact of the Newton trial, the struggles of civil rights advocates, and profound changes in recruiting and hiring practices in the Oakland Police Department. A phenomenal not-to-be-missed read!

The Library would like to thank the author for donating this title, as well as The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton.

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