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.