As Public Defender in Illinois' Cook County, Gerald W. Getty represented thousands of criminal defendants who couldn't afford to hire a lawyer. This is an informative, discursive ramble through some of his most challenging cases, with occasional glimpses into the political realities behind the administration of justice in Mayor Daley's Chicago. Getty's most famous case was his defense of Richard Speck, who was convicted of the 1966 slaying of eight nurses. The media's treatment of these ghastly crimes raised public indignation to a pitch where a guilty verdict was inevitable -- Getty suggests -- in a telling indictment of the American system of trial by newspaper. Getty had his fair share of capital cases; his other less sensational involvements indicate the range of work handled by a Public Defender. Don't expect forensic flash here, just low-key, often intriguing anecdotes from the career of a thorough, hardworking lawyer who devoted himself for many years to the representation of the poor.