Review of Independence Corrupted

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Harty Muli
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Latest Review: Independence Corrupted by Charles Benjamin Schudson

Review of Independence Corrupted

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Independence Corrupted" by Charles Benjamin Schudson.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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Earning himself a coveted position as a law clerk early on in his law career, Charles Benjamin Schudson was an idealist as they came. At twenty-five, he had everything going well for him. He had a boss, District Attorney Michael McCann, who had created a relational atmosphere that continuously pushed his creative envelope. Under McCann’s direction, Schudson became Wisconsin's youngest judge at thirty-two because of his pioneering work helping battered women and busting white-collar crime. Rising through the ranks, Schudson was poised to take advantage of these opportunities to quench his insatiable appetite for justice.

His book, Independence Corrupted, is a crowning moment for this lifetime ambition. It’s a treatise based on his three decades of experience in public/judicial service. Few careers are as misunderstood as those of judges because of the mystery attached to how they determine cases. Out of the thousands of cases he presided over, whether singly as a trial judge or collectively as an appellate judge, Schudson has featured eight of these to theorize the thought processes behind the presiding judges.

The author’s voice was hands-down the best aspect I liked about this treatise. As Schudson pondered deeply about his inner unresolved conflict concerning the cases he handled, I was charmed by his sheer honesty. In one case, for example, he genuinely listed ways he thought his judgment might have been corrupted while on the bench. He attributed that to a few diverse factors personal to him, like his Holocaust heritage, his wife’s influence, and his ego, among others.

Interestingly, there was no aspect of this book I disliked. Even the editing errors were few and far between. I, thus, rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

In conclusion, if you believe we don’t have a genuine problem with corruption in the U.S. judicial system, think again. As Schudson observed, corruption is varied because it includes bribery and political corruption. After reading the memoir, my key takeaway was that, while other forms of corruption can prejudice judicial independence, only political corruption can destroy it. This book is a strong reminder of the need to rebuild “the great interests of the people,” just as the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended. Hence, the book is highly recommended to any patriotic American citizen and other people of goodwill. At the same time, with so many cross-references between scholarly and legal articles, the book may come across as too academic for some readers.

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Independence Corrupted
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Amy Luman
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Post by Amy Luman »

Being a judge has got to be one of the hardest jobs around. If it’s not the pressure that you are putting on yourself, there’s always pressure from the outside influences. Add to that the people that think that they deserve special treatment and the actual law sometimes take a backseat. Thanks!
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Sarah Zain
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Post by Sarah Zain »

I'm not really interested in the subject, but I understand the difficulty of a judge's job. And also the decisions that can affect people’s lives, especially if corruption is part of the equation. I liked your way of presenting the topic and explaining the points of the book. Thank you for the review.
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