Shanti BrienShanti Brien
Attorney and Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

shantibrien.com

Shanti Brien has a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and a JD from Stanford Law School. She is an accomplished criminal defense attorney, with a specialty in appeals and post-conviction proceedings. She is co-Founder of Fogbreak Justice, an education and consulting company with the mission to transform the criminal justice system through experiences which reduce bias, promote fairness, build community trust, and create equity. Shanti writes about criminal justice and other social justice issues on Medium @shantibrightbrien. She co-authored June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint (Routledge, 1995); and contributed to The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms (American Bar Association, 2011) and Lose the Cape: The Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially and Politically Engaged (Kat Biggie Press, 2018). She lives in the East Bay with her husband and three kids.

ISBN: 978-1-64543-203-6
Price: $24.95
Publication Date: March 2, 2021

Almost Innocent: From Searching to Saved in America's Criminal Justice System

From practicing attorney and criminal justice advocate Shanti Brien comes an insider’s account of the messy, tragic, and often unjust legal system in America.

From defunding the police to the college admission scandal, from the national rise in crime to seditious mobs escaping prosecution, criminal justice is one of the most urgent issues of our time. Part memoir, part political commentary, Almost Innocent details the stories of nine legal cases and goes behind the headlines to break down the dichotomies our country grapples with—us versus them, good versus bad, guilt versus innocence, Black versus White—and challenges us to explore the humanity in between.

Weaving stories of the obviously guilty to the surprisingly innocent, Almost Innocent is a love letter to the author’s clients. Though their profiles are as individual as their sentences—the teenage gang member whose gun never fired, the victim of the world’s most vindictive HOA, the soft-spoken three-strikes rapist, and the get-away driver—all touched Shanti Brien’s life in surprising ways. They saved her from stupid mistakes, strengthened her football-ravaged marriage, and taught her about humility, redemption, and humanity.

Almost Innocent is an intimate portrait of the criminal justice system, offering suggestions for what it could be: more fair, more humane, and more just.

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