From the bestselling author of Cops comes a riveting and hard-hitting look at the criminal justice system, as told by those on the inside -- the district attorneys who prosecute crime in America. Often the unsung heroes of the justice system, D.A.'s -- overworked and underpaid -- represent the people when suspects are brought to trial. It is they who determine which crimes will be most actively pursued.
For D.A., Mark Baker interviewed dozens of D.A.'s from big cities, small towns, and rural areas across the country, and it is their stories and their voices -- by turns idealistic, tough, cynical, and hopeful -- that make up this compelling collective portrait of the men and women whose responsibility it is to see that justice is served.
Prosecutors have enormous powers of discretion. They can decide whether to go to trial or to offer a plea agreement (most of them hate the term "plea bargain"). They face tremendous pressure, especially on high-profile cases, and occasionally even threats from defendants (one-quarter of all prosecutors nationwide say they carry a firearm for personal security). Yet prosecutors are expected to keep a strong sense of perspective, to look at each case individually, to decide whether a particular defendant deserves special consideration, and ultimately to determine what is best for the community.
In D.A., prosecutors discuss what happens when idealism and high expectations run into reality -- low pay, skillful defense attorneys, questionable evidence, and duplicitous witnesses. In candid and unflinching detail, they recall their most memorable cases, wins and losses, and how they keep going in spite of the sometimes chilling crimes they face in court.
Like Cops, D.A. is a gritty, pull-no-punches kind of book that takes up inside the court-room and puts us at the prosecutor's table.
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