|Graphic: The New Press|
|“A fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the War on Drugs, snitches, and whether locking so many people up really makes Americans safer.” ~ Anthony Romero, executive director, ACLU|
Paul Butler was an up-and-coming federal prosecutor and Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate salary to fight the good fight — until one day he was arrested on the street and charged with a crime he didn’t commit.
In his book Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, the former prosecutor takes a radical argument for reform. Butler looks at places where ordinary citizens meet the justice system — as jurors, witnesses, and in encounters with police officers — and explores what “doing the right thing” actually means in a corrupt, broken system.
Let’s Get Free is now available in a paperback edition, bringing Butler’s groundbreaking and controversial arguments to a whole new audience.
In the book, readers can learn ways individual citizens can work to change the “justice” system, including:
• Jury nullification: Voting “not guilty” in drug cases as a form of protest
• Always saying “No” when the police request your permission to search
• Refusing to work inside the system as a snitch or a prosecutor
|Photo: Let’s Get Free|
|Paul Butler: “I like justice and fair play. This book is about how to get those back.”|
“In the last year we’ve witnessed the drawing down of troops in the War On Drugs, or at least the war on marijuana, a war that has been waged in New York City with a ridiculous ferocity,” Butler told Toke of the Town.
“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute medical marijuana clinics is the beginning of the end of prohibition,” Butler told us. “In D.C., we’re actually having a discussion about how far away from schools the clinics should be, as opposed to the old tired conversations about whether the clinics should exist.”
“We’re a long way from de-criminalization (or better put ‘re-legalization’), but at the same time we’re closer than we have been in almost one hundred years,” Butler told Toke of the Town.
“I am still a prosecutor at heart,” Butler said. “I like justice and fair play. This book is about how to get those back… I want to keep you safe and free.”
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has called Let’s Get Free “A fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the War on Drugs, snitches, and whether locking so many people up really makes Americans safer.”
The book “provides a framework of solutions to a stressed and broken justice system that is in need of reform,” according to PurePolitics.com.
Butler is considered the country’s leading expert on jury nullification. He provides legal commentary for CNN, NPR, and the Fox News Network, and has been featured on 60 Minutes and profiled in The Washington Post.
Butler has written for the Post, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times, and is a law professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
You can order Let’s Get Free in paperback for $16.95 here.