Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

Doing Justice

A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

By Preet Bharara
19-minute read
Audio available
Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law by Preet Bharara

Doing Justice (2019) is a window into the remarkable career of former federal attorney, Preet Bharara. It shares the wisdom that Bharara gained over the years, from tips that every trial lawyer should know to his thoughts on prison reform. Also included are thrilling stories of the formative criminal cases Bharara was involved in, and those that continue to linger in his mind.

  • Lawyers and law students
  • Social justice advocates
  • Anyone interested in the American justice system

Preet Bharara is the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (2009 - 2017). As the supervisor of over 200 Assistant US Attorneys, he oversaw cases ranging from cybercrime to gang violence. He’s been featured as among Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and included on Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment” list. He’s currently a faculty member at the NYU School of Law and can be heard on the popular podcast Stay Tuned with Preet.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from

Doing Justice

A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

By Preet Bharara
  • Read in 19 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 12 key ideas
Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law by Preet Bharara
Synopsis

Doing Justice (2019) is a window into the remarkable career of former federal attorney, Preet Bharara. It shares the wisdom that Bharara gained over the years, from tips that every trial lawyer should know to his thoughts on prison reform. Also included are thrilling stories of the formative criminal cases Bharara was involved in, and those that continue to linger in his mind.

Key idea 1 of 12

Good inquiry requires a committed investigator who withholds judgment and has a strong work ethic.

Finding the truth is rarely as simple as expressions like “connect the dots” or “follow the money” suggest. When it comes to criminal law, the pursuit of justice is about discovering the truth and holding someone accountable for a crime.

For a criminal case, this process starts with the inquiry phase. During this phase, an investigator must be committed to the truth. This may seem obvious, but a lazy investigator can set a low bar for satisfactory evidence, and jump at the first chance to close a case. However, even a committed investigator can fall short as a result of their biases or presumptions about guilt and innocence. The author learned this lesson decades ago.

In 1989, he received a call from Jessica, a friend who was shocked to learn that two people she knew, a married couple by the name of Jose and Kitty Menendez, had been brutally murdered in their living room. When the police eventually arrested Jose and Kitty’s children, Lyle and Erik, for the crime, Jessica couldn’t believe it. She wondered how the police could get things so wrong.

Despite Jessica’s firm belief that the sons couldn’t have murdered their parents, they had. In 1996, the brothers were finally convicted after confessing to the crime. This was the first time the author understood that one can never be completely sure of what someone else is capable of, and should always withhold one’s presumptions of guilt and innocence.

Another hallmark of a committed investigator is their work ethic. One of the most esteemed investigators in this regard is Kenny McCabe. Before he passed away in 2006, Kenny McCabe was a living legend for working on cases involving the five mafia families: Gambino, Bonnano, Genovese, Lucchese and Columbo. Yes, McCabe was a real-life “mob buster,” and he was famous for his meticulous and detailed work. Not only did he have files and photos on just about everyone, but he could also tell you how high or low a mobster’s ranking was just by observing their behavior.

McCabe never cut corners. He put in the work of collecting one piece of evidence at a time and building a case. In fact, he was so good at his job, that even the mobsters had respect for him. If they got busted by McCabe, they knew they’d been caught fair and square.

Key ideas in this title

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.