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The Champion

November/December 2008 , Page 61 

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Book Reviews

By Jerry Crimmins, Gil Sapir

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Defending the Damned

By Kevin Davis
Atria Books (2008)
Reviewed by Jerry Crimmins

Defending the Damned, a new book by Kevin Davis, presents an important and highly unusual story. It is also a shock.

It is important because it reveals the lives of public defenders who defend the worst of the worst, a story that is rarely told. And it sets down a key part of Chicago history, the story of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. It is a shock because few members of the general public know the foul things that human beings do in real life. The public defenders in this book often cannot talk about these things to their spouses and children.

Despite its nature, the book has a heart.

The intent is to portray “a small and select group of lawyers” working on the public defender’s Murder Task Force during a recent five-year period, and to recount what they did.

The book describes numerous cases, but one trial provides the theme from front to back, the trial of Aloysius Oli

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