There was no way you weren’t going to walk.

You weren’t carrying. There was nothing on you, you weren’t armed, and the cops couldn’t catch you at something you weren’t doing. But you were there when it all went down, and you were arrested just the same.

Now the only walk you’re doing is in leg irons. You got fifteen with six and you’re still wondering how it happened.


Could you have done anything differently to avoid arrest, trial, or prison? According to Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq., there are lots of things you could’ve done, starting with staying clean in the first place. In his book “Raw Law: An Urban Guide to Criminal Justice,” he explains.

It’s no secret that today’s prisons are filled with young Black men who didn’t follow the “rules” of the courts or the hood. Bashir blames hip-hop for the problem, in part. He also points to lack of education and mixed messages sent to the younger generation. And, he says, when someone is caught doing something illegal, the “little rock slinger” wasn’t mature enough to handle the level of respect he demands.

So, okay. You know you’re committing acts that could get you arrested. You’ve already been in trouble, or someone in your family has. What next?

Rule Number One of criminal justice, according to Bashir, is “DO NOT GET IN” the system. The second rule is to “come correct” when arrested. The third rule is easy: know your friends and your enemies.

Understand, says Bashir, that there are “only two truths” to what you’re about to experience and you won’t like either one: no matter how the case ends up, there will be no justice. And “you may get exactly what you deserve.”

Be willing to call the best lawyer you can afford, and listen to him or her. Keep your mouth shut and answer when asked. Never sign anything blank. Take the plea if your lawyer advises it; it often really is the best deal.

And if you’re tempted by illegal activities and wondering how much trouble you could get into for real, read this book. In a few chilling pages, Bashir envisions a future for you that also affects everybody you love…

Part guidebook, part dictionary, and part wake-up call to anyone considering doing something illegal or stupid, “Raw Law” is just about the scariest book you’ll ever read—particularly if you or your family is heading down the kind of road that may need this book.

Author and attorney Muhammad Ibn Bashir is brutally honest with his readers from start to finish, and he doesn’t hide a thing. Bashir speaks directly to his audience in language they’ll understand, which not only makes the legal system a bit more understandable, but which gives readers something hard and “real” to think about.

(“Raw Law” by Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq., c.2011, Cash Money Content/Atria Books, $15.99/­$17.99 Canada, 203 pages.)

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