Inside The Robe Book Review – Raw, Candid, Truth, A Solid Read

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Inside the Robe: A Judge's Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America, from Antenna Books and Smith Publicity, provides readers with a candid and somewhat shocking tale of the judicial process in Los Angeles.

Authored by Retired Judge Katherine Mader, Inside The Robe complied as journal entries, walks readers step by step through what is considered normal and routine in these days and times. With unusual honesty, Mader presents encounters with evil, misguided, and corrupt prosecutors, Gang members and the brutalities of gang violence, three strike sentencings, and headline grabbing cases.

She reveals the largely untold story about the hidden nooks and crevices of the judging world taking readers along for an entire year as she rules from the bench in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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Readers come to learn the floor of the courthouse can mean the difference between prison and freedom. She unpacks misconceptions of "following the law" as this concept unfortunately produces wildly different results depending on the judge's background, philosophy, politics, and life experiences. Readers come to learn the floor of the courthouse can mean the difference between prison and freedom.

At 370 pages, Inside the Robe, after an Author's Note and Preface, begins in January and ends in December with thirty to fifty pages for each chapter. In the Preface she begins with a small story of her first appearance in a courtroom when she announced to a courtroom the sentencing "is not fair."

To which as the story is told, "a grouch, grey-haired floating head above the bench peered disdainfully at me. His pursing thin, mean, lips growled, "Young lady, you might have a bar card, but you'll learn soon that saying 'It's not fair' makes you sound childish and unprofessional. If you want to make an argument to me, do not ever again use the word 'fair.'"

The words may have reverberated throughout her career as she eventually became the floating head above the bench. The concept of fair and even right and wrong are long lost in the judicial arena. Money buys justice, and moreover, money buys injustice on a grater scale.

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"There are political and ethical considerations by judges that have never before been written about," says Judge Mader. "All judges think they are fair.' But personal experiences of each judge mean so much."

Filled with behind the scenes intrigue, Inside the Robe, revisits Judge's Mader's fascinating career, as a fearless defense attorney who successfully argued to spare the life of the "Hillside Strangler," a prosecutor who spent years in a unit that prosecuted police officers and public officials including racially charged prosecution o a police officer for an on-duty shooting of a civilian, the LAPD's first inspector general overseeing the disciplinary system of the police department and ultimately one of Los Angeles most revered judges.

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From behind the bench, Mader witness an endless parade of drug addicts, gang members, and mentally ill defendants. She also sees pricey private attorneys ranging from brilliant to incompetent, jaded as well as compassionate prosecutors, and starry-eyed true believers as well as creative and effective public defenders.

Each month presents everything from the bizarre and incredulous to the common and routine. On December 23, her last entry she presents her accomplishments: working 212 days, using zero sick days, taking every personal and vacation day allotted. She was sent thirty jury trials and fourteen settled without going to trial.

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"There is nothing worse than an ignorant or corrupt judge. A good judge is inspiring; a bad one provokes contempt," Mader quotes from Donald Dale Jackson in Judges.

With reviews from Celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, former L.A. County District Attorney, Gil Garcetti and Michael Connelly, author of Fair WarningInside The Robe: A Judge's Candid Tale of Criminal Justice in America, presents an unadorned expose into the judicial system presents with raw truth and candor and offers readers to opportunity to ascertain for themselves how the criminal justice system has deteriorated or evolved. A solid read for court junkies, criminal justice enthusiasts, and legal professionals.

Inside the Robe: A Judge's Candid Tale of Criminal Justice is available online.

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