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After the Madness: A Judge's Own Prison Memoir

After the Madness: A Judge's Own Prison Memoir

by Sol Wachtler


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Driving down the Long Island Expressway in November of 1992, Sol Wachtler was New York’s chief judge and heir apparent to the New York governorship. Suddenly, three van loads of FBI agents swerved in front of him—bringing his car and his legal career to a halt. Wachtler's subsequent arrest, conviction, and incarceration for harassing his longtime lover precipitated a media feeding frenzy, revealing to the world his struggles with romantic attachment, manic depression, and drug abuse.

In this, his prison diary, Wachtler reveals the stark reality behind his vertiginous fall from the heights of the legal establishment to the underbelly of the criminal justice system. Sentenced to a medium security prison in Butner, North Carolina, Wachtler is stabbed by an unseen assailant, berated by prison guards, and repeatedly placed in solitary confinement with no explanation. Moreover, as a prisoner he confronts firsthand the inequities of a system his judicial rulings helped to construct and befriends the type of people he once sentenced.

With unflinching honesty, Wachtler draws on his unique experience of living life on both sides of the bench to paint a chilling portrait of prison life interwoven with a no‑holds‑barred analysis of the shortcomings of the American legal justice system. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497637139
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sol Wachtler began his government career in 1963, when he was elected a councilman of the town of North Hempstead. He was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court in 1968 and elected to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, in 1972. In 1985, he was appointed chief judge of the state of New York and the Court of Appeals. He lives in Manhasset, New York, with his wife, Joan. They have four children and seven grandchildren. 

Table of Contents


September 1993,
October 1993,
November 1993,
December 1993,
Christmas 1993,
January 1994,
February 1994,
March 1994,
April 1994,
May 1994,
June 1994,
July 1994,
August 1994,
About the Author,

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