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A presentation of the views of leading African American jurists on the way the American judicial system works. The judges have been chosen from all over the country, from federal as well as the local and state benches, and from the trial and appeal court levels. Washington interviews liberals and conservatives, men and women, some new to the bench and others who have served for decades. From these interviews emerges a range of portraits, and with it, outspoken views and insights on justice and racial prejudice in America.;The justices are in many cases known for their innovative approaches to sentencing, for their attempts to deal with the everyday iniquities of American life, or for their courage in freeing suspects whom they feel have been illegally arrested or mistreated by the police. From pioneers such as Leon Higginbotham and Contance Baker Motley (the first black female federal judge) to such outspoken and well-known mavericks as Bruce Wright of New York City, the testimony of these judges provides an analysis of the daily malfunctioning of the courts, of the role of the jurists, and of the future of the judicial system itself.;Linn Washington engages 14 contributors in discussions, encompassing little-known aspects of American legal history and anecdotes of personal struggle in the legal system.