Eric's Reviews > The Justice Game

The Justice Game by Randy Singer
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's review
Jan 06, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: legal-crime, kindle-lendable
Read in January, 2010

This was the first book I read by this author, and I will likely read another at some point, but I’m not in a hurry to do so. It was interesting, but not great.

The best thing this book has going for it is its controversial topic of gun control vs. second amendment. Pretty juicy stuff, and definitely some potential for some action. The trial coverage is decent and the plot is interesting.

But there were a few things that bothered me. For one, the book is based on the premise that mock trials with real lawyers and juries that are picked to match the real jury on a trial can be used to predict with near perfect accuracy the outcomes of trials that would otherwise be difficult to predict. Now the author goes to great trouble to say that special techniques and algorithms are used to pick these juries. The company that does this makes a lot of money off of stock purchases by hedge funds based on the predicted trial outcome, so the mock trials are well funded with real lawyers.

This may not bother most people, but it really bothers me because it is so unrealistic. How did those jurors on the mock jury keep their day jobs, anyway? How much did they get paid? How could they be expected to treat a mock trial like a real one when they know they are not sworn in and their verdict has no relevance to the actual trial participants? Why would they participate in a mock jury for a multiple days when everyone else seems to want to get out of jury duty? Why would mock juries by more accurate than an analytical method to predict the trial outcome? What about personality differences between the mock lawyers and the lawyers on the real case? How could the mock trial adequately represent the real trial in sufficient detail and still leave time for the mock jury to render a verdict before the real jury?

On the other hand, the book held my interest. I read fairly quickly because I really was interested in the plot and how it was going to end. I also thought that the characters had some interesting traits and flaws.

You might like this book if you like reading about trials, dysfunctional families, and gun nuts, with a lttle religion on the side. You might want to avoid this book if you want to understand the motivation of the "bad" guys, or if you think that seasoned analysts could predict the outcome of a trial better than a mock trial with a jury supposedly picked by a computer algorithm.

Well that’s enough. It’s an interesting read, but don’t go out of your way to get it.

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