Nonfiction Book Award Status: BRONZE
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.
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 that 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.