Ready For The People

Ready For The People

4.5 4
by Marissa N. Batt

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A veteran female prosecutor takes you behind the facade of the criminal justice system and presents three of her most difficult and terrifying cases.


A veteran female prosecutor takes you behind the facade of the criminal justice system and presents three of her most difficult and terrifying cases.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Los Angeles produces its share of horrific crimes leading to surreal trials, and in this volume, L.A. deputy DA Batt distills her 25-year career into an account of three such trials. Batt details the crimes: a vicious wilding spree, a homosexual rape and the nearly fatal beating of an unarmed man. For each instance, the author explains her techniques for interviewing the victims and the witnesses, then shows how she structures the prosecution's case for trial. Batt is a natural storyteller, with an acute eye for the revealing detail and a talent for building suspense. The characters populating the trials are vividly described, from a hardworking cop to a biased judge, or from a sleazy defense counsel to a superlative expert witness. Batt also lets her characters speak in their own voices, even when the language is raw and the subject matter repellent. Interestingly, the author did not focus solely on courtroom triumphs for the prosecution. One trial results in acquittal, and another produces a guilty verdict but a preposterously lenient sentence. Throughout these stories Batt teaches her readers about the law and its sometimes arcane procedures. The art of jury selection is addressed, along with the role of the preliminary hearing and the surprisingly complicated definition of attempted murder. The author's aim is to "shine a penetrating light into the darkest corners of the criminal justice system," an objective well served by this fast-paced and absorbing book. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three nasty criminal cases provide a long-serving trial deputy in the Los Angeles DA’s office with the chance to nimbly explain what really goes on in a courtroom. Batt has put in 25 years as a deputy district attorney in LA, working everything from hot prowl to mayhem, robbery to murder. She tenders here some fruits of her hard-won experience as illustrated by three exceptional crimes she prosecuted: an all-night crime spree that included rape and robbery; a violent gay rape; and a vicious assault by a respectable citizen who claimed to be cleaning up the Hollywood streets. Concise, blow-by-blow recountings deliver both wicked circumstantial color ("They might have gotten away with the whole thing if they had just stopped after the raping, pillaging, and burning") and, importantly, the meat of the prosecutorial process: Will the jury empathize with your witness or victim? When is a plea bargain likely? What about the inherent conflict of interest in multiple-defendant cases? Who is a good juror? Questions of due diligence and preparation also arise, and the author imparts telling details, e.g., that a greasy lunch can compromise jurors’ attention to an afternoon opening statement. Always, Batt is concerned with the process of law: "Failure to provide prompt and thorough discovery to the defense is unethical," she notes, "and can result in a variety of sanctions." Yet she is also attuned to the nuances of the courtroom, realizing that one judge’s homophobia compromised her case, and getting a surreal, creepy glimpse into the mind of another supposedly objective justice, who orders her to do something about her hair: "It’s too curly. I mean, for God's sake, you have these littlegolden-brown ringlets all over your head . . . it's simply too—uh—too distracting." Though Batt is a prosecutor, her 25 rules for giving effective testimony could be used by either side. A slap-in-the-face look at the criminal-justice system. Agent: Mike Hamilburg

Product Details

Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)

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Ready for the People: My Most Chilling Cases as a Prosecutor 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Ezekiel12224 More than 1 year ago
Overall, the book was okay. I've recently been reading through various true crime literature, and this book is no classic. For example, it's not on par with Ann Rule's Stranger Beside Me or Vincent Bugliosi's Helter Skelter. Furthermore, Marissa Batt comes off as pretty biased. For example, when the cases didn't turn out the way she wanted them to it was due to the prejudices of the judges involved. Also, all of her adversaries are described as repugnant, smelly, morons who could be mistaken for villains from Disney movies. And of course, all of her friends and allies are honest, good-looking, hard-working, etc. Now, anyone whose lived on this earth for awhile knows that this simply isn't real life. Our friends can do things we don't approve of and sometimes we don't achieve something we wanted to because someone else outsmarted or outperformed us. In the end, it seems that Marissa Batt's simplistic version of reality is biased by her Buddhist faith, which she somewhat laughably suggests is "scientific" through a conversation she has with "Jean-Luc" (pg. 226). With all of that said, the book is worth a read for some of its stronger points, which other reviewers have described. But be aware that Marissa Batt's writing style is much more informal than say Bugliosi's, and her re-telling of these events seem to be pretty biased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. The detail gone into by the author is so descriptive that it creates an in depth visualization of the events taking place. The first-person perspective also adds the feeling that you are really there and can see everything that is going on. If I could, I would give this book a higher rating than 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The headline which I would put on my review would be: 'I couldn't put it down.' (but, of course, that is a cliche.) A friend gave me a copy of this book as a Christmas present. I started to read it, and several hours later, I was finished with it. I WANT MORE! Ms. Batt makes her true stories sound so fascinating, that I finally feel that I have some insight into the criminal justice system. David Barzilay
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone lucky enough to get an advance copy of 'Ready for the People, My Most Chilling Cases as a Prosecutor', I can tell you that this book is much more than an account of three horrifying crimes and their progression through the 'system.' Deputy District Attorney Batt provides an essential course in criminal justice that is invaluable for anyone connected with our legal system and for everyone who wants to know the whole truth. The reader will see the crimes as they are committed, watch as the cases are tried, and hear what the crooks, cops, victims, lawyers, and judges really say, on and off the record. This book reads like a novel and I had to keep reminding myself that it is all true: the pain of the victims, the viciousness of the criminals, the strength and dedication of some of the characters and the bigotry and ignorance of others, even among those sworn to uphold the law. I was drawn so completely into the action that I found myself cheering when things went well, gasping in horror when the didn't, and laughing out loud at times. Mercifully, there is plenty of humor to leaven the heavy load of misery in these chilling tales. 'Ready for the People' is a legal textbook, a Buddhist study of putting faith into action, a fast- paced and completely absorbing thriller, and a celebration of the strength of the human spirit. Buy the book!