One Lawyer's Journey Into The Inferno of American Justice
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A long day’s journey into night court, INDEFENSIBLE is public defender David Feige’s dark, and stirring account of a single hot day in the South Bronx—a day informed by crime, punishment, desperation and hope. Racing from courtroom to courtroom, Feige gives us the most intimate account ever written about what it is really like to be a public defender. In the course of a day we meet sly lawyers and batty judges, hapless defendants and crooked cops, lost souls and courageous giant-killers. There’s Bemo, a once successful gangster reduced by crack to a hapless radio thief who just can’t grasp that there’s a bullet out there with his name on it; and almond-eyed Nikki, gorgeous as a supermodel and charged with murder at the age of sixteen; and Omar, a former dealer gone clean who's sitting on a secret the cops don’t want anyone to know. There's Gold-Tooth Gloria, whose eyewitness account could clear someone of attempted murder charges; Steven, the Rastafarian who just can’t resist the ganja even if the police are passing by; and Michael, whose arrest for walking a dog without tags turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare. Presiding over the mayhem are judges like Michael Curci, who spends much of his time obsessing over the latest issue of Soldier of Fortune and engaging in bizarre public discussions with himself while deciding cases; Reynaldo Rivera, whose judicial pronouncements seem informed as much by Star Trek as the Supreme Court; and Diane Kiesel, who doles out punishment with an undertaker’s glee. Raw, wild and unforgettable, INDEFENSIBLE reveals the brutal underbelly of a system out of control. The result is a book that reads like a legal thriller, but has all the insight and impact of the finest nonfiction. Full of black comedy and outrage, of unforgettable characters and situations, INDEFENSIBLE is a call to arms and call for last call.
David Feige served as the Trial Chief of The Bronx Defenders. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, Slate and other publications, and is a frequent guest expert on Court TV. He lives in New York City.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
I am a Public Defender in San Jose, CA and found this book inspiring. The author's observations and descriptions of the heroics, the mundane, and the indignities our clients are forced to suffer are spot on. Thank you for writing such an honest and important book. Anyone interested in learning about the "real" criminal justice system should read this book and learn how hard it is make the system work for people.
Excellent book for more than just criminal lawyers
I had the pleasure of meeting David Feige at a training seminar in Georgia, being taught by him, shooting the breeze with him over lunch, and having beer with him, all after I had become enthralled with the TV series inspired by this book, Raising The Bar. Embarrassed that I hadn't read it, I immediately bought a copy.
This is the refreshingly accurate account of the work of a criminal defense attorney, particularly of seasoned public defenders. He put into words and case illustrations exactly what we deal with daily, the emotional struggles we face both internally and externally. The injustices in the criminal system are enough to make one mad, and Feige exposes them in a way that is accessible to everyone, not just the lawyers who experience it frequently enough to notice the patterns. This book inspires me to (strive to) be a better attorney with a caring, personal touch. The author's heart was clearly in it. Any time a criminal defense attorney is asked, "how can you defend those people?," this book should be their reply.
Every real biological father, who loves their children must buy and read this book to fight back against the most corrupted Judge Hon. Diane R. Kiesel. Who corrupted the most Respectable People's Court and helped Dr. Mark J. Rand, his secret business partner Nick M. Frisco; and Michael Francis DeMattio to do the secret money laundering to sell my daughter's custody to her mother! They all broke the laws! They all abused my little daughter for last 9 years and 3 months! They all could go to hell!