BLACK'S LAW by Roy Black


A Famous Criminal Lawyer Reveals His Defense Strategies in Four Cliffhanger Cases
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Criminal lawyers will find plenty of useful trial tips here. Layfolk will simply be mesmerized by this inside-the-courtroom legal primer. The hyperbole of the subtitle aside, Black’s Law is a remarkably down-to-earth, insightful book about the difference one dedicated attorney can make in a criminal-justice system that is deeply flawed. True, Black has represented the elite: he counts William Kennedy Smith and sportscaster Marv Albert among his former clients. But he has also staked much of his legal reputation on people many others would prefer to see rot in jail. “I want you to see the defendant as a flesh-and-blood human being, not a hunk of meat,” writes Black, a former public defender who now appears regularly on CNBC, MSNBC, and CNN. “I want you to feel how he is scared, humiliated, confused and desperate.” Luis Alvarez is a young Miami cop who ignited horrible race riots after he killed a black man he thought was pulling a gun on him. Thomas Knight is an insane multiple killer whose death sentence finally is vacated after Black spends years working to show the many ways in which Knight’s inadequate legal counsel was responsible for never getting him a fair trial or the obvious mental-health treatment that he deserved. Steve Hicks, a bartender with no criminal past until he was charged with murdering his girlfriend, is a disturbing example of the ways in which shoddy police investigative work and circumstantial evidence can ruin a person’s life. The case of Fred De La Mata, a Cuban immigrant bank president, offers a depressing illustration of how overzealous federal prosecutors can dictate the course of a trial. An unsettling page-turner and sobering reminder that in the legal treatment of the least fortunate of our citizenry lie all of our rights. (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; author tour)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-81022-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999