D. A.

Overview

With close to a thousand prosecutors, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office is one of the largest in the world. It is also a part of one of the world's most notorious criminal court systems. Larry Longo is one of the prosecutors who handles these cases, along with his more high-profile colleagues like Pam Ferrero, Dinko Bozanich, Bill Hodgman, and Marcia Clark. They attend the daily "calendar calls," balancing the ideals of justice with the need for practicality, and prepare for each case that ends in trial ...
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Overview

With close to a thousand prosecutors, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office is one of the largest in the world. It is also a part of one of the world's most notorious criminal court systems. Larry Longo is one of the prosecutors who handles these cases, along with his more high-profile colleagues like Pam Ferrero, Dinko Bozanich, Bill Hodgman, and Marcia Clark. They attend the daily "calendar calls," balancing the ideals of justice with the need for practicality, and prepare for each case that ends in trial with fervor and dedication. In The D. A., author Lawrence Taylor takes you into the courtroom to meet these players as they maneuver their way through the justice system. You'll also follow Larry Longo behind the scenes of a headline murder case, through the meticulous, painstaking process of interviewing witnesses and investigating relevant events in preparation for trial. You'll experience each of his triumphs and each of his frustrations as he battles head-on with Mike Yamaki, one of L. A.'s most powerful criminal defense attorneys. And you will be able to see, firsthand, what it takes to hold up against all the pressures and demands of being a good prosecutor.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A former deputy district attorney in Los Angeles, Taylor (To Honor and Obey) here follows a year in the life of a successor, Larry Longo, and the problems of the legal system in the ``capital of the third world.'' The problems, as he shows, are manifold. The DA, an elected official, has a staff of 1000. Some, like Longo, are idealistic straight arrows; others claw their way to the top, seeking high-profile cases. Meanwhile, those who supervise them seem ready to lop off the heads of subordinates who become media favorites. Most of the book is given over to such a case, in which Japanese American entrepreneur Kazuhiko Yamaguchi killed his wife's lover and hired a shrewd lawyer depicted by Taylor as interested more in winning than in seeing justice done. Against the backdrop of the Rodney King, Menendez brothers and Charles Keating cases, Taylor depicts an organization reeling under an all but insurmountable burden. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In this nonfiction page-turner, Taylor (To Honor and Obey, Morrow, 1992), chronicles a year in the professional life of a mid-level Los Angeles prosecutor, Larry Longo. Longo is rough-edged, plain-spoken, highly respected, and very effective. He doesn't get the high-profile cases (Rodney King or O. J. Simpson), but he does draw the occasional murder case. Taylor's book focuses on one of thema seeming crime of passion in the Japanese community that pits Longo against a super-smooth defense attorney who mounts a clever defense involving the effects of the drug Halcion. Taylor vividly captures the drama of the courtroom and the thrust and counterthrust of the two expert trial tacticians. But what makes his book memorable is Longo himselfbrash, tough, subtle, and likable. This book reads like an Elmore Leonard novel. Recommended for all popular true- crime collections.Ben R. Harrison, East Orange P.L., N.J.
Booknews
A "year in the life" chronicle of Los Angeles District Attorney Larry Longo follows the D.A. through the justice system and into a headline murder case. Taylor (a former Los Angeles District Attorney) documents the deals, pressures, and frustrations of handling cases that are as notorious as the OJ Simpson trial, but never make it to CNN. The volume supplies a real charge for readers who are strung out since the Simpson trial conclusion, or for those interested in seeing a "slice of life" from an attorney's point of view. Lacks an index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Brian McCombie
Former district attorney Taylor examines one year in the professional life of the senior deputy district attorney for L.A., Larry Longo. Not one of those rising legal stars appearing on CNN, Longo slugs it out in courtrooms that rarely make the evening news. He's pugnacious and committed to upholding the law, but the constant grind of the system wears on him. Whether Longo is trying a lone murder case or dealing with police officers who lie about evidence and procedures, he and the reader have to wonder if the legal apparatus really works. Meanwhile, the first Rodney King trial has begun, bringing the city's racial animosities to the surface. Lawrence expertly delves into the politics of the D.A.'s office in L.A., where celebrity and power are often more important than right and wrong. A sobering look at crime, punishment, and a city seemingly on the verge of disintegration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688117313
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.40 (d)

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