TRIAL by Susan Kuklin

TRIAL

The Inside Story
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a fascinating approach to an unusual subject for young readers, this noted non-fiction author describes the intimate details of an unusual trial. Illegal immigrants are exploited through extortion and violence in a way of life hidden from most Americans and not often prosecuted. In this case, a kidnapper is held to account for his part in holding a Chinese immigrant for ransom from his family. The question uppermost is the actual identity of the perpetrator. Having followed the case inside the courtroom and conducted interviews with many of the protagonists, Kuklin is able to offer direct quotations from the transcripts, the presiding judge, the assistant district attorney, the defense lawyer, the detectives, and some members of the jury, who give a vivid picture of the case. She also gets into the minds of the people involved as they discuss their strategies, their anxieties, and the pressures that face them: the defense lawyer is passionate in his concern for getting justice for his client; the prosecutor articulates the social responsibility she feels towards the victims. Everyone depicted represents the highest quality of behavior in a criminal courtroom. Short episodic chapters headed by a phrase from the text or a bullet or two that describe the action give the impression of a scene from the TV series Law and Order. In a feature designed not to intrude on the telling, sidebars explain points of law. Notes, a bibliography, and a glossary give suggestions for further reading and additional information on legal terminology. Photographs taken in the courtroom by the author or reproductions of ones introduced into evidence add to the authenticity of the text. A good read and an absorbing look inside a trial by jury. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6457-5
Page count: 194pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000




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