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book cover “Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free (and Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System)”

By Jed S. Rakoff

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 180 pages, $27

Very soon after Judge Jed Rakoff was appointed to the District Court bench, I found myself representing someone in an SEC case against 10 defendants. It was assigned to him even though each defendant had also been charged criminally for the same conduct and that case was pending before another judge in his courthouse. Judge Rakoff directed a conference at 8 a.m. 8 o’clock? An obvious workaholic. Or drill sergeant, perhaps.

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