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The second volume in a must-have trilogy of the best closing arguments in American legal history Every day, Americans enjoy the freedom to decide what we do with our property, our bodies, our speech, and our votes. However, the rights to these freedoms have not always been guaranteed. Our civil rights have been assured by cases that have produced monumental shifts in America's cultural, political, and legal landscapes. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down showcases eight of the most exciting closing arguments in civil law -- from the Amistad case, in which John Quincy Adams brought the injustice of slavery to the center stage of American politics, to the Susan B. Anthony decision, which paved the way to success for women's suffrage, to the Larry Flynt trial, in which the porn king became an unlikely champion for freedom of speech. By providing historical and biographical details, as well as the closing arguments themselves, Lief and Caldwell give readers the background necessary to fully understand these important cases, bringing them vividly to life.
From the authors of the acclaimed Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, and featuring some of the most important cases in criminal law, The Devil's Advocates is the final volume of a must-have trilogy of the best closing arguments in American legal history. Criminal law is considered by many to be the most exciting of the legal specialties, and here the authors turn to the type of dramatic crimes and trials that have so captivated the public -- becoming fodder for countless television shows and legal thrillers. But the eight cases in this collection have also set historical precedents and illuminated underlying principles of the American criminal justice system. Future president John Adams makes clear that even the most despised and vilified criminal is entitled to a legal defense in the argument he delivers on behalf of the British soldiers who shot and killed five Americans during the Boston Massacre. The always-controversial temporary-insanity defense makes its debut within sight of the White House when, in front of horrified onlookers, a prominent congressman guns down the district attorney over an extramarital affair. Clarence Darrow provides a ringing defense of a black family charged with using deadly force to defend themselves from a violent mob -- an argument that refines the concept of self-defense and its applicability to all races. The treason trial of Aaron Burr, accused of plotting to "steal" the western territories of the United States and form a new country with himself as its head, offers a fascinating glimpse into a rare type of prosecution, as well as a look at one of the most interesting traitors in the nation's history. Perhaps the best-known case in the book is that of Ernesto Miranda, the accused rapist whose trial led to the Supreme Court decision requiring police to advise suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present -- their Miranda rights. Each of the eight cases presented here is given legal and cultural context, including a brief historical introduction, a biographical sketch of the attorneys involved, highlights of trial testimony, analysis of the closing arguments, and a summary of the trial's impact on its participants and our country. In clear, jargon-free prose, Michael S Lief and H. Mitchell Caldwell make these pivotal cases come to vibrant life for every reader.
Until now, only the twelve jurors who sat in judgment were able to appreciate these virtuoso performances, where weeks of testimony were boiled down and presented with flair, wit, and high drama. For five years the authors researched every archive from those of the L.A. Times to the dusty stacks of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and readers can now lose themselves in the summations of America's finest litigators. Clarence Darrow saves Leopold and Loeb from the gallows in the Roaring Twenties. Gerry Spence takes on the nuclear power industry for the death of Karen Silkwood in a modern-day David and Goliath struggle. Vincent Bugliosi squares off against the madness of Charles Manson and his murderous "family" in the aftermath of their bloody spree. Clara Foltz, the first woman to practice law in California, argues passionately to an all-male jury, defending her place in the courtroom. Bobby DeLaughter brings the killer of civil-rights leader Medgar Evers to justice after thirty years and two mistrials. Aubrey Daniel brings Lt. William Calley, Jr., to justice for the My Lai massacre. William Kunstler challenges the establishment after the '68 Chicago riots in his defense of yippie leaders known as the Chicago Seven. Each closing argument is put into context by the authors, who provide historical background, a brief biography of each attorney, and commentary, pointing out the trial tactics used to great effect by the lawyers, all in language that is jargon-free for the benefit of the lay reader.