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Prison Libraries: “A Mediocre Criminal, but an Unmatched Jailhouse Lawyer”


A Mediocre Criminal, but an Unmatched Jailhouse Lawyer, Adam Liptak, New York Times, February 8, 2010

… Mr. [Shon] Hopwood spent much of that time in the prison law library, and it turned out he was better at understanding the law than breaking it. He transformed himself into something rare at the top levels of the American bar, and unheard of behind bars: an accomplished Supreme Court practitioner….

The law library changed Mr. Hopwood’s life.

“I kind of flourished there,” he said. “I didn’t want prison to be my destiny. When your life gets tipped over and spilled out, you have to make some changes.”

He was a quick study, but he had a lot to learn.

“In 2000,” he said, “I couldn’t have named a right in the Bill of Rights.”….‘ (link to full article)

(Thanks to Law in the News for the lead.)

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