Down and Dirty Justice
A Chilling Journey into the Dark World
of Crime and the Criminal Courts
by Gary T. Lowenthal
When idealistic law professor Gary T. Lowenthal leaves academia after decades in the classroom to take a sabbatical working in the Maricopa County, Arizona, County Attorney’s Office, he finds himself in a very different world than the cut-and-dried ideological comfort of the ivory tower. It’s a disturbing eye-opener for the professor; a world very different than the one he’s taught his students to expect: prosecutors, not judges, operate the scales of justice, overworked and underpaid public defenders plea bargain cases simply to clear the dockets and politics trump justice almost every time.
Meanwhile, in a different universe altogether, the hazy cosmos of methamphetamine addiction and petty crime, Stephen Schilling and his friends have taken the law into their own hands, taking hours to violently beat, kick and pistol-whip Ray Hart, whom they suspected of burglarizing Shilling’s home, into a false confession. Howling with drug-fueled vengeance, they hogtie Hart and lock him into the trunk of his own car, and ride off on Harley-Davidsons to reclaim Schilling’s possessions. Ray Hart escapes the dark trunk and an uncertain fate, reporting his tormentors to the Phoenix Police Department.
Lowenthal, longing to prosecute a “big” case, jumps at another prosecutor’s offer to pass a kidnapping trial on to the novice prosecutor, and soon finds himself immersed in State v. Schilling. Lowenthal’s idealistic, academic notions of the justice system and Schilling’s vigilante idea that he himself can dole out punishment meet head to head in the courtroom. Both find themselves at odds with justice as it is actually practiced in today’s courts. As the complex human motivations and prosecutorial convolutions of State v. Schilling emerge, Lowenthal is afforded a firsthand look at how America’s vaunted court system truly operates and finds that the truth is more shocking than the average person realizes.
Lowenthal’s dissection of the legal universe is as tightly written and compelling as any thriller. It presents a riveting read and valuable insight, forcing its readers to reexamine their notion of justice. A candid and deeply disturbing look at the realities and inequities of our nation’s courts, Down and Dirty Justice offers a scathing indictment of the American legal system, taking the reader into the dark world of criminal law, where innocence isn’t always the best defense.
Gary T. Lowenthal, a law professor for over twenty-five years, received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his law degree from the University of Chicago. A specialist in criminal law, he has served on the law school faculties of Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia. He has tried over thirty jury cases, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, and presided over trials as a pro tem judge. His published articles have appeared in top academic law journals and been cited on several occasions by the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s currently a tenured Professor of Law at Arizona State University and Judge pro tem, Maricopa County Superior Court.
A New Horizon Press Release
6 x 9, 320 pages
LC #2003105759, world rights
ISBN: 0-88282-235-7 (hc), $25.95
ISBN-13: 978-0-88282-443-7 (eBook), $16.95