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A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett Book Review


A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett Book Review

A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett Book Review

A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K. Barnett this book is set up, there's a couple of parts to this book. And so the first part of this book is mostly like memoir-based, and so you learn a lot about britney k barnett's life growing up. 

Her mother was addicted to drugs and she talks about that experience and how that affected her and her sister and their life growing up, and some of the different situations that she ended up in before heading off to law school and becoming a lawyer herself. 

And her career path was always to become a corporate lawyer. She started out working in like business and finance and things like that. 

And so when she decided to go to law school eventually, she decided that she wanted to work in like corporate and finance law and things like along those lines because that was her experience. 

And her sort of dream was always to be like a, you know, major lawyer at one of these firms like a partner or like a major lawyer working for a specific corporation things like that because there are not a lot of like black women who take those positions. 

But at the same time, she ended up taking a class at law school that reminded her of some of the stories that she knew growing up, and she became exposed to a lot of cases where there were people who were currently in jail for like either extremely long periods of time or potentially for life over drug crimes and drug laws that were basically overblown. 

And so over the course of this book, you hear about a couple of the cases that britney k barnett ends up taking on pro bono. And one of the main ones that she ends up taking on is for this woman named sharonda who reminds brittney k. barnett

a lot of her own mother and a lot of the people that she grew up with. And over the course of this book, you see like how she fights to provide freedom to sharonda as well as a couple of other people using basically every potential avenue that she can.

I heard about this book when it came out last year but then i saw vanessa at split reads talk about this book and she like mentioned how much she really enjoyed 

it and talked about it as sort of like a follow-up if you've read books like just mercy and new jim crow and things along those lines and you're interested in continuing to learn about the way that the prison system works here in the united states. And i do agree with that sentiment 

but i do have to say that like this book definitely feels much more like a memoir. New jim crow is probably the most academic in terms of like range and then just mercy is kind of in the middle and this one definitely feels more on the memoir side. 

So like this one feels more about brittney k barnett than it does about the people that she's representing, which depending on your preference you may or may not enjoy. 

I didn't really mind it that much but i was expecting it to be kind of closer to the just mercy side of things where in that book bryan stevenson talks more about the individual cases and the laws and things like that. 

And while that stuff does come up in here, like the first third of this book is all memoir. However it does like play a part in the way that Brittany k Barnett talks about her cases, and I think one of the things that she does really well in this book, is she talks about how basically like there's a very thin line between like her as a very successful lawyer and these people that she's representing who are in jail for like 20, 30, life sentences. 

The circumstances that they went through and that she went through are not that different and it's basically just like by chance and by the mere fact that 

Brittany k Burnett was never found in compromising situations by the police or anything along those lines or like set up by someone else that she ended up becoming a successful lawyer and didn't end up in jail. 

The other thing that i enjoyed about this book is that it provides you with a lot of like background in history in terms of how the drug laws were set up back in like the 80s, the sort of like war on drugs era and things like that and how overblown a lot of the punishments were for the crimes that were being committed. 

She talks about how a lot of judges ended up giving out sentences that were far overblown because they were like forced to follow this set of guidelines, and basically like if a person checked off certain boxes, they were like required to serve a certain amount of time. 

Which like in theory potentially sounds okay but when you see how it's actually applied in court, you realize that that's not really a real way to judge circumstances. Like you need to take basically the full picture into scope and things like that and see what is actually going on.

But the really nice thing is that even though she's talking about all of these laws and basically judgments that have happened in the past, she writes this book in a very like honest and real manner. 

So like reading this book, it feels kind of like you're just listening to her talk. Like i'm sure this is a book that would be fantastic on audiobook if she like narrates it herself or anything like that because like the way that it's written it's almost as if you're listening to her give like a ted talk or something like that about her life and about these circumstances. 

And brittney k barnett has been like a very successful lawyer on these fronts. She has brought multiple cases to like the federal level and she's even gotten clemency for some of the people that she's represented and things like that. 

And she even explains like how convoluted and foggy the clemency basically program works. So basically like if the president provide clemency for people who have served a certain amount of time and things like that, like that process there's no real process to it. You just sort of like basically write a letter and hope that something will happen. 

And she talks about how like discouraging that can be because you have so little control and there's no real like guidelines or rubrics as to like who will get clemency and who will not and she talks about all of that in this book as well, 

which i found to be like a really enlightening sort of thing to read about because unless you've been through the process there's no real way for you to know how it all works. So yeah, overall, i really enjoyed this book. 

I wouldn't say it's like one of my all-time favorites or anything like that because i do find that like the more casual writing styles, personally, uh make it harder for me to connect to the story. 

But there were like significant moments in this book that like made me choke up and stuff like that, specifically like the stories of people who ended up getting released and sort of like them finding out or their family members finding out that they're finally going to be free and things like that. 

I don't know how you can not get emotional reading those types of stories.But i definitely found myself sort of wanting more of either those stories or the stories of the people who have been released and things like that and sort of hoping for the best for them and things like that.

But wanting to kind of know like what happened to him afterward, like brittany k barnett provides a little bit of that explanation but i would love to just — i mean, this might just need to be a different book. 

But i don't think, i just want more about what the experiences is like after someone gets free too. So yeah, overall, i would definitely recommend this book and i definitely think that if you are someone who is interested in the way that the criminal justice system works here in the united states, this should definitely be one to pick up. 

If you are someone who hasn't picked up any books along those lines before, this would definitely be a good one to start with because, again, it is like a very readable text. 

So it's not too like legal in terms of its terminology or anything like that. Like Brittany k Barnett breaks it down so you will get it no matter what your like education level or experience is with the way that laws work here in the united states, the way prisons work here and stuff like that. So definitely, definitely recommend it i gave it 4 out of 5 stars. 

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