Rascuache Lawyering and the Anatomy of a Criminal Case
Building from author Alfredo Mirandé’s earlier work Rascuache Lawyer, the account is told by “The Professor,” who led a pro bono rascuache legal defense team comprising the professor, a retired prosecutor, and student interns, working without a budget, office, paralegals, investigators, or support staff. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in race, gender, and criminal injustice and will appeal not only to law scholars and social scientists but to lay readers interested in ethnographic field research, Latinx communities, and racial disparities in the legal system.
The case is presented as a series of letters to the author’s fictional alter-ego, Fermina Gabriel, an accomplished lawyer and singer. This narrative device allows the author to present the case as it happens, relaying the challenges and complexities as they occur and drawing the reader in.
While Ordinary Injustice deals with important, complicated legal issues and questions that arise in criminal defense work and looks at the case from the time of Juan’s arrest to the preliminary hearing, indictment, pretrial motions, and attempts to obtain a negotiated plea, it is written in nontechnical and engaging language that makes law accessible to the lay reader.
“Ordinary Injustice provides a real-life story of a toxic relationship between two students that escalates into a possible life sentence in prison. If it were not for the rascuache legal defense team, it is hard to imagine a better outcome. If only everyone had such a defense!”—Robert J. Durán, author of The Gang Paradox: Inequalities and Miracles on the U.S.-Mexico Border