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Read online or Download The Hanging Judge: A Novel (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Michael Ponsor

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Open Road Integrated Media LLC
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5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)



Based on the experience of the author, a federal judge who in 2000 presided over the first capital case in Massachusetts in more than fifty years, this extraordinary debut thriller offers an unprecedented inside view of a federal death penalty trial

When a drive-by shooting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, claims the lives of a Puerto Rican drug dealer and a hockey mom volunteering at an inner-city clinic, the police arrest a rival gang member. With no death penalty in Massachusetts, the US attorney shifts the double homicide out of state jurisdiction into federal court so he can seek a death sentence.

The Honorable David S. Norcross, a federal judge with only two years on the bench, now presides over the first death penalty case in the state in decades. He must referee the clash of an ambitious female prosecutor and a brilliant veteran defense attorney in a high-stress environment of community outrage, media pressure, vengeful gang members, and a romantic entanglement that threatens to capsize his trial—not to mention the most dangerous force of all: the unexpected.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite the author’s credentials—Ponsor is a sitting federal judge who in 2000 presided over Massachusetts’s first capital case in more than 50 years—his attempt to draw on his professional experience for a legal thriller falls flat. Judge David Norcross, who has the requisite tragic personal backstory (a dead wife), is assigned the case of twice-convicted drug dealer Clarence Hudson, who gunned down another drug dealer and a nurse caught in the cross fire in a rundown Holyoke, Mass., neighborhood. A political decision to charge Hudson federally exposes him to the death penalty. That the case is problematic early on undercuts some of the tension from the trial scenes, while a gratuitous act of violence near the end undermines what hitherto has been a realistic portrayal of a judge’s life. Unconvincing interludes with a potential romantic partner don’t help (“An enormous moment was rolling toward him, and it was hoisting David’s innards like a swelling wave”). Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Dec.)

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