To Punish and Protect: One DA's Quest to Prosecute Predators and Defend Victims

Overview

"The office of the district attorney is a battleground, where the fight between good and evil unfolds each day. We see the ugliest side of life, the pain that people go through for no reason. They didn't do anything. They didn't ask for it. Yet here they are, living their personal nightmares. We cannot take away their pain, or turn back time to undo the damage, but we can be the avengers. We can seek justice on their behalf."

So begins this riveting account by Westchester County...

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Overview

"The office of the district attorney is a battleground, where the fight between good and evil unfolds each day. We see the ugliest side of life, the pain that people go through for no reason. They didn't do anything. They didn't ask for it. Yet here they are, living their personal nightmares. We cannot take away their pain, or turn back time to undo the damage, but we can be the avengers. We can seek justice on their behalf."

So begins this riveting account by Westchester County District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro, as she takes us inside the violent world of modern crime fighting. Before Pirro was elected DA in 1993, the job was always considered a man's domain, demanding a macho toughness. Pirro can be as tough as any man, and yet she adds an important new dimension to the role. She believes that being tough on crime means much more than just filling the jails. She goes beyond her role to punish criminals, to be a passionate advocate for the victims of crime.

In To Punish and Protect, Pirro brings readers face to face with the gruesome realities of her daily battles, and tells the true, heartbreaking stories of the victims - the slaughter of a young woman and her two children by a jealous, enraged boyfriend; a teenage girl forced to assume wifely duties after her father murdered her stepmother; a nine-year-old boy chained to a radiator in a dark room and nearly starved to death, as the rest of the family went about its business; a gentle, hardworking man shot fatally in a dispute over a parking place, because he was black; an eighty-year-old woman, savagely beaten by her son and left for two days on the cold floor of her apartment; a beautiful woman whose wealth and privilege could not prevent her murder at the hands of a violent husband; and a group of young girls lured into a sexual nightmare by a cunning predator posing as a trustworthy youth counselor.

Pirro presents hard truths about the ways in which parents, communities, and the justice system share complicity in fostering an environment of danger to our children. She describes the dark world of Internet pedophiles and hate mongers, who are allowed to hide behind First Amendment protections to gain access to kids in their own bedrooms. She offers a harsh judgment on parents who fail to address the deadly consequences of teen drinking, and even host keg parties in their homes, while alcohol continues to take young lives and destroy families.

Pirro delivers a bold indictment of the criminal justice system, and asks whether we as a nation are truly committed to justice. Increasingly, she warns, our laws, attitudes, and behaviors seem to be veering away from what we say is our moral core as a nation. We say that we exalt good and punish evil, yet we do the opposite. We turn criminals into celebrities, and view victims with suspicion. If we're going to make our communities safer and our society less violent, we need to do more than just pay lip service to our ideals. To Punish and Protect challenges us to have the will and the courage to wage war on the predators roaming our streets, and to avenge their victims.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“She’s brilliant, she’s tough, she’s extremely articulate, and she has all the skills needed for higher office.” -- Governor George Pataki as quoted in a New Yorker profile

To Punish and Protect debunks the psychobabble of excuses for criminals, and it serves as a battle cry for the rights of victims. I knew I liked Jeanine Pirro’s style-now I am a fan. Read her book, and you will be, too.” -- Judge Judy Sheindlin

“Jeanine Pirro is the avenging angel of American justice. She writes of wives who wake each day knowing their husbands are coming to kill them, of judges and juries too scared or distracted or amoral to demand justice. She makes the hardest, best and most undeniable case for capital punishment: it keeps the killer from doing it again.” -- Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball

“D.A. Jeanine Pirro has the right idea. It’s time we get serious about safety in our communities. That means we stop coddling criminals. And start protecting law-abiding citizens. To Punish and Protect is a must read for anyone who takes the American dream to heart.” --Bernard B. Kerik, Former Commissioner of the New York Police Department

“Victims are thrust into a foreign environment finding it difficult to acknowledge, understand or express their new reality. Jeanine Pirro gives eloquence to their voice as a strong, articulate and independent woman who navigates the criminal justice system with authority as she seeks justice for victims of crime.” --Marc Klaas, Child Rights Advocate

Publishers Weekly
Westchester County District Attorney Pirro, writing with Whitney, declares her hatred of violent crime and brutal criminals in this book of essays. After nearly 30 years as a prosecutor, Pirro sees herself at the center of a battleground of good vs. evil; she has no doubt of her rectitude. She and her assistants are the avengers who seek justice on behalf of crime victims, often ignored or marginalized by the criminal justice system. The book's chapters focus on the most horrific imaginable crimes, from sexual predation directed against children to spousal murder, from elder abuse to hate crimes. For each type of atrocity, Pirro cites examples drawn from her prosecutorial experience. Throughout, she empathizes with the victims and their families, comforting them and advocating expanded public services to help them heal. She also urges reforms of the criminal justice system, such as eliminating the insanity defense from the guilt phase of criminal trials and modifying the presumption of innocence so that bail can be denied to persons accused of heinous crimes. Pirro also favors the death penalty (although she decided not to seek it in 10 of 11 death-eligible cases she has handled as district attorney). This book serves several purposes: to stoke public consciousness of crime and contempt for criminals, to mobilize support for toughening the penal laws and to position the author as a remorselessly angry crusader. As she states, hers is an elected position, and a book such as this will serve the author well as campaign literature. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312316495
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeanine Pirro

Jeanine Ferris Pirro is the District Attorney of Westchester County, New York. Now serving her third, four-year term in office, Pirro began her career in law enforcement as a prosecutor in Westchester more than twenty-five years ago. In 1978, she headed the county's first domestic violence unit, one of only four in the nation. Later, she was elected the first woman jurist to sit on the Westchester County Court bench. Pirro's High Technology Crimes unit has garnered nationwide attention for its undercover stings against pedophiles and child pornographers who use the Internet to prey on children. To date, over 70 arrests have been made, with a conviction rate of 100%. Pirro lives in Westchester with her husband and two children.

Catherine Whitney is a New York writer, and has co-written many books on legal, political, and social issues.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Battleground 1
1 Cage the Bastards 7
2 The Deadly Ripple 26
3 Hell-Bent 48
4 Suffer the Children 85
5 Behind Closed Doors 107
6 A Wink and a Nod 125
7 A Serpent's Tooth 142
8 Mean Streak 162
9 The Laws of Madness 186
10 In Memory 206
App. A Westchester County District Attorney's Crime Prevention Programs 217
App. B Internet Safety: What Every Parent Should Know 224
App. C Know the Facts About Crime: Are You at Risk? 227
App. D Milestones in Victims' Rights 240
App. E Getting Help: Resources for Victims 253
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    This book is DA BOMB!

    What a great book. We should all be so lucky as to have a State's Attorney like Ms Pirro.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    Wonderful! Read this book before the next time you vote...

    This book exceeded my already rather high expectations; it floats across the political spectrum exposing one instance of legal and societal lunacy after another and emerges with a platform with something for everyone. Appendices loaded with practical information like how to keep your kids from being exposed to internet paedophiles and the like complete the package. And an impressive one it is. It makes you mad, it makes you sad, it makes you elated, and frustrated, and comprehensively curious, and itching to get to the voting booth in turns and sometimes all at the same time as you progress through the chapters about various categories of hope, kindness, and progress as well as high crimes, misdemeanours, and general ugliness in the system. 'To Punish & Protect...' is really the best book in the English language I have read in a two or three years -- politics, history, computers, humour, art, poetry, current affairs, sociology & allied disciplines, the whole ball of wax! I flew through it in two sittings in under 24 hours. I give it five stars for technical merit, content, and relevance. Hopefully it will be to future president Pirro what 'PT-109' was for JFK...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2003

    Hippocritical rant by a politician seeking higher office

    Pirro is complete hypocrite. What is left out of Pirro's book and her back cover reviews is that her husband was convicted of tax fraud and served 17 months in federal prison. Also left out is how Pirro herself was almost indicted. When she says in the book that the system coddles criminals was she referring to her husband's stay at Club Fed also? Maybe she can explain how she narrowly escaped indictment in her next book. Pirro doesn't talk about the real problems in the criminal justice system - cops who lie on the stand, innocent people being freed from death row by DNA evidence and overly aggressive prosecutors seeking political gain by putting people in jail. A very shallow book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2003

    PIRRO IS A GREAT DISTRICT ATTORNEY

    This was such a good book I couldn't stop reading it. DA Pirro wants to make the laws protect the victims instead of the criminals. Isn't that what the law is supposed to do? Please read this book and learn the truth. The DA is fighting against a system that coddles criminals. Let's try to help by supporting her and her hard-working staff. She wants to make citizens safer. She wants to make America safer. Don't we all want to do the same thing? Read this book. Five stars for DA Pirro. She's great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    To Punish and Protect: One DA's Quest to Prosecute Predators and Defend Victims

    DA Jeanine Pirro has written a brilliant and scathing indictment of a system gone wrong. Criminals are given better treatment than the victims of their crimes! Laws need to be changed to rebalance the criminal justice system and turn it into the victim's justice system. This is a wake up call to America. Fix the system before it destroys those it was meant to protect. Five stars for Jeanine Pirro and her heroic stance. She's a true American treasure. Her book is a riveting ride through hostile territory---the criminal justice system. Read it and take a stance. For all those who believe in addressing the inequities that are stopping true justice. Pirro is a fine DA, and this is a great book. A must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2003

    To Punish and Protect: One DA's Quest to Prosecute Predators and Defend Victims

    To Punish and Protect is a riveting read. The DA takes us into her office, and shares some of the most disturbing cases she's dealt with. Internet Pedophiles, Domestic Violent Abuse, Insane Murderers, Hate Crimes, it's all here. The question is, How does she and her loyal team of prosecutors, police, and investigators handle all of this horror and come back to work each and every day? I really learned a lot. Thanks, DA Pirro, for sharing your experiences. This is a very good book. Read it and learn about victims and how their rights are denied. Read it and learn how the justice system helps the criminals defend themselves. It's a disturbing ride through some very hostile territory. A dark, gripping read. Five stars. Read it now.

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