She has presided over some of America's most complex and violent cases ranging from narcotics to sex crimes to headline-making murder and mob trials. Her toughness in court is legendary and she is known for frequently imposing maximum sentences (120 years each for five young drug lords). As a result, she must have round-the-clock security as her life has been marked with repeated threats from criminals she put behind bars. Now, Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder has written a riveting account of her years on the bench taking readers behind the scenes and into a courtroom whose trials and rulings have placed a permanent stamp on our legal system. Her true story will inspire and influence many more.
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Leslie Crocker Snyder's work on the bench of Manhattan's Supreme Court has landed her on the short list to replace Robert Morgenthau as New York's District Attorney. She lives in New York City.From Publishers Weekly:
Snyder recalls that, shortly after she began working as an assistant prosecutor in Manhattan, "I began to understand that there was, indeed, pure evil in this world." Although she now serves as a trial court judge, that early insight continues to temper her approach to her work. As she matter-of-factly puts it, criminals and their attorneys should be prepared for her to mete out tough sentences when circumstances demand it and in most of the cases recounted here, they do. Snyder's 30-year career highlights how criminal law, and women's role in it, have evolved. As a prosecutor, Snyder was disheartened by the legal obstacles to proving rape; she and others successfully lobbied for revisions to the rape statute that eliminated these hurdles. Snyder also recounts her more colorful experiences presiding over drug, mob and murder trials. She can't be accused of sentimentalizing defendants: readers will look in vain for a story about an innocent man caught up in the justice system. By her own admission, her heart lies with the prosecution, and the rulings that she recounts (e.g., one to allow suppression hearings outside the presence of defense counsel) reflect that. This is not a law review article, though, but a book of legal "war stories," ("Judge, there's a hit team on the way from Los Angeles to kill you," the court officer announced one day) recounted vividly by a judge who has been at the center of Manhattan's criminal justice system for many years.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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