To most people, judges are mysterious creatures. As Anthony Bourdain invited readers to follow him behind the scenes of the restaurant business in his bestseller, Kitchen Confidential, and Caitlin Doughty's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was a revealing peak into the mysteries of what happens after death inside a mortuary, Inside the Robe shines a bright spotlight into the hidden folds of the judging world. Despite the old saw that judges should merely "follow the law," Inside the Robe lays bare how following the law can produce wildly different results depending upon the background, politics, and life experiences of each judge. Even the floor of the courthouse can mean the difference between prison and freedom.
Judge Katherine Mader spent decades as a judge in a criminal court, was the LAPD's first inspector general, a prosecutor in two murder-for-hire trials, and a defense attorney who successfully argued to spare the life of the Hillside Strangler. From her perch behind the bench, Judge Mader witnesses a parade of drug addicts, gang members, mentally ill defendants, pricey private attorneys ranging from brilliant to incompetent, jaded prosecutors, and starry-eyed true believer public defenders. Never before has the judging profession been laid bare for all to see.
Retired superior court judge Mader (coauthor, Perfect Crimes) offers an engrossing inside look at a year in the life of a busy L.A. criminal courtroom. In brief, diary-like entries, Mader follows defendants from preliminary hearings through their trials and sentencing, with the occasional postscript. Readers will be particularly eager to know the fates Mader decides for a repeat DUI defendant who begs for time in treatment rather than prison, a mentally ill defendant whose charge of assault is plainly wrong, and a man accused of crashing his Ferrari while evading the police who claimed he was "sleep-driving." Throughout, Mader provides insights on several high-profile issues, including police brutality and the knotty questions that arise for prosecutors and judges in alleged date-rape cases in the #MeToo era. While Mader sheds light on the prickly dynamics between lawyers, jurors, witnesses, and defendants, her criticisms of courthouse politics often feel like payback for perceived slights and distract from the book's larger points. Still, this is a candid and illuminating view from the bench. (Self-published)
Too wordy, agrees with Brock Turner sentence
Excessively wordy, but the main issue is she agrees with the sentence of Brock Turner (Stanford, was let off with a slap of the wrist for rape)