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Publisher's Summary

Courtroom 302 is the fascinating story of one year in Chicago's Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the busiest felony courthouse in the country. Here we see the system through the eyes of the men and women who experience it, not only in the courtroom but in the lockup, the jury room, the judge's chambers, the spectators' gallery.
From the daily grind of the court to the highest-profile case of the year, Steve Bogira's masterful investigation raises fundamental issues of race, civil rights, and justice in America.
©2005 Steve Bogira (P)2017 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By KIDSFIRST81 on 02-14-18

A look into a broken court system

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, this is a very interesting book that makes you think about how our court system is run and how broken it really can be. We think it is "just and fair" but there are so many things as citizens who haven't experiences a court date never would imagine.

What other book might you compare Courtroom 302 to and why?

I personally haven't experienced another book that I could compare it to.

What does Mark Kamish bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The subject matter of the book can be rather dry so by listening to the audio you can get some emotion behind the words that you wouldn't have if you were just reading the book. This is especially true when you are reading something from an inmates/defendant's point of view.

Any additional comments?

This book points out many points of view - from a judge, inmate, lawyer, guard, etc. It shows where the system is falling down and points where we are doing okay. I personally liked hearing about real like trials that went on during the time the books was written and also about the people affected in the book. It was interesting to hear the back story of the people on trial and also the victims. It's interesting to also hear how much unnecessary info is presented at trial but how much info that should be presented is not. The whole criminal process was eye opening in this book.


I was provided this audiobook through Audiobook Boom at no charge by the publisher and have voluntarily left an unbiased review.

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By Steve on 02-08-18

The Underbelly of Justice is not pretty

Where does Courtroom 302 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's very well written, informative and excellently narrated. For non-fiction books about the US court system, this is a must listen.

What did you like best about this story?

The author was fortunate to be present during a trial that made shockwaves not only across Chicago but across the country. The intimate details of the courtroom proceedings with additional detail provided by the people involved made the final several hours of this book an impactful book. It is a very well researched book by Steve Bogira and the narration of book was skillfully handled by Mark Kamish.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final trial is well-portrayed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The book details one courtroom in Chicago in the mid to late 90s. The book does a great job detailing how broken the US Justice system is with an emphasis on being expeditious more than delivering justice. The system is badly and sadly slanted against people of color in this country. That comes out on nearly every page of this book.

Any additional comments?

What this book is: well-written; narrated with excellent rhythm and tone. An in-depth look at the legal process and how unfair it can be to so many people. It is an important look into the horror that many face daily.

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