Shanti Bright Brien was a practicing criminal defense lawyer and a recovering-NFL wife when the Department of Justice began a criminal investigation of her husband’s company. This collision of her personal and professional lives altered her view of the system she’d dedicated her life to and frames her book Almost Innocent: From Searching to Saved in America's Criminal Justice System (Amplify Publishing, 2021). Detailing the stories of nine of Brien’s clients — from teenage Hmong gang member convicted of a drive-by shooting, to a graying hippie lawyer and single-mother convicted of falsifying a document, from thieves to rapists, from the obviously-guilty to the surprisingly-innocent — Almost Innocent reveals the messy and tragic criminal system and offers suggestions for what it could be: more fair, more humane, and more just.
"Shanti Brien asks the two urgent questions of our time: is anyone entirely innocent and why is it so easy for us to draw lines between us and them? Almost Innocent is a deft but humble investigation into who is worthy of compassion and where justice may have lost its way." - Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Tell Me More.