The Art of Justice: An Eyewitness View of Thirty Infamous Trials

Marilyn Church, Author, Lou Young, Author, Marilyn Church, Illustrator . Quirk $19.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-59474-094-7

From the 1970s through the present, courtroom artist Church has chronicled high-profile trials for the New York Times , women's magazines and local TV stations, capturing for posterity the likes of mutilated model Marla Hanson and subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz. More than 100 of her sketches are reproduced here in color and, aided by broadcast journalist Young, Church gives a human face to complicated, often impersonal and tedious legal proceedings. A former boxer convicted in a triple homicide, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter cradles his baby son during a break in the 1976 retrial, while "Dapper Don" John Gotti, facing a life sentence in 1992, instructs Church not to draw his neck fat. In 1987, surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead convulses in tears while her "Baby M" adversaries, William and Elizabeth Stern, watch impassively; in 1982, a shocked Norman Mailer listens to protégé Jack Henry Abbott describe how he killed a man while on parole. Court TV diehards will savor this trip down a memory lane stained with blood and tears, and Church's palette is gloriously evocative. But she misses her mark with pictures of Mia Farrow, Martha Stewart, Mike Wallace, and Jackie Onassis that don't quite look like the real thing. (Apr.)

FYI: Another volume of courtroom art is coming in April: Captured!: Inside the World of Celebrity Trials by artist Mona Shafer Edwards, text by Jody Handley. It presents Edwards's color drawings from the trials of Michael Jackson, Snoop Doggy Dogg, the Menendez brothers and others. (Santa Monica Press [IPG, dist.], $24.95 paper, 184p ISBN 1-59580-011-5)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-1-59474-096-1
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