No Heroes, No Villains by by Steven J. Phillips

No Heroes, No Villains by by Steven J. Phillips

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No Heroes, No Villains by by Steven J. Phillips

After reading the story, I found I had mixed emotions about it. To explain, when we were getting into detail and finally finding out what really happened the day of June 28th, I found myself completely interested and glued to the book. I also enjoyed the way the incident was explained because I felt like I was there watching it all happen from the great detail. I enjoyed Phillips style of writing because through his writing, he really came off as an intelligent person who is very familiar with the legal system. The book is an easy read, and I liked the non-pretentious style of writing. I did not find myself struggling with reading the book at all, which made the overall experience that much more enjoyable.
To me, the challenging part of the book was reading a book on a topic that I do not know much about. I am starting to become familiar with the legal system, however I am nowhere near that of a lawyer. This is why I stumbled at times on some of the legal lingo that the book contained. In addition to that, I did find myself with a better understanding of our legal system. I felt like I was along for the ride on the whole legal process. Also, I would like to note that I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on the autopsy because I thought it was very interesting how they performed those procedures in that time period. I loved the detail that the author went into when describing how it all took place.
I enjoyed that the book challenged some of the biggest problems in our legal system, or even society as a whole. There is still a lot of racism going on, and this book was not afraid to exploit that. I enjoy those kinds of readings. They are the things that will eventually spark a change and shed some light on the problems that are happening right now.
The parts that I found boring were when there was a lot of description going on from the author. I do realize that it is necessary to set up the scenes and locations so that us as readers can have a better understanding of what is happening in the book, however I felt like at times he went too far into detail and had me nearly sleeping at times, literally.

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For example, some of the dialogues he included may have gone into too much detail, but that is a credit to the descriptiveness of Mr. Phillips.
The main thing this book did for my understanding of the legal system was it showed me how easy it is for someone to be falsely tried, especially in a case that has little evidence and few witnesses. For a while, I thought that Mr. Richardson was the victim, and then with a dramatic twist, we saw that was definitely not the case. Also, I learned a lot about what happens behind the scenes with building a case as well as going through with the case. We saw the amount of interrogation that is necessary for building a case and it is a lot more work then I had thought. With the exception of a few high profile trials, I have never really followed a case in the detail that this book goes into. You really feel like you are watching it live on Court TV, so needless to say, I learned a lot about how the actual trial happens. The most interesting part to me is the cross-examination because that part is crucial to counter-attacking the information that the witness provides.
This book also stresses the importance of proper evidence collection as well as proper presentation. This was extremely important when the public opinion is that a cop has killed a black man with no reason. It requires a lot of evidence to sway the opinion the other way.
As I was saying earlier, I think it is a big problem in our legal system that there are people being found guilty for crimes they did not commit. That nearly was the case in this trial; however there are many others that are falsely brought to justice. Also, as I stated earlier, this book brings up the importance of proper representation and proper evidence collection. A lot of your fate in the courtroom rests on the capability of your lawyer because a problem with the legal system is the fact that you can be innocent with a decent lawyer but still come up short to a great lawyer of a guilty man. Also, you can have the best evidence in the world, but if you use it the wrong way, you can potentially lose it. There are so many regulations to abide by when it comes to evidence that too often it is thrown out of a trial due to improper use.
I believe justice was eventually achieved in the case, although it seemed like it was going to turnout a different way, at least for me, for some of the story. This turned out to be a great story about justice prevailing and it showed that there are some great lawyers in the system, and they are not just money-hungry, insensitive professionals hard at work. My concept of justice is, regardless of the evidence, regardless of the status of the lawyer that a party brings aboard, the truth is exposed and the correct man is found guilty of the crime that he or she committed. I believe that was the outcome in this particular case.
Overall, I felt that this book was a good read, that took you behind the scenes of one of the millions of trials that go on in our country. You really take a lot away from this book and I credit the book for providing me with gaining a sub sequential amount of understanding toward our ever complicated legal system.
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