To most people, judges are mysterious creatures. As Anthony Bourdain invited readers to follow him behind the scenes of the restaurant business in his bestseller, Kitchen Confidential, and Caitlin Doughty's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was a revealing peak into the mysteries of what happens after death inside a mortuary, Inside the Robe shines a bright spotlight into the hidden folds of the judging world. Despite the old saw that judges should merely "follow the law," Inside the Robe lays bare how following the law can produce wildly different results depending upon the background, politics, and life experiences of each judge. Even the floor of the courthouse can mean the difference between prison and freedom.
Judge Katherine Mader spent decades as a judge in a criminal court, was the LAPD's first inspector general, a prosecutor in two murder-for-hire trials, and a defense attorney who successfully argued to spare the life of the Hillside Strangler. From her perch behind the bench, Judge Mader witnesses a parade of drug addicts, gang members, mentally ill defendants, pricey private attorneys ranging from brilliant to incompetent, jaded prosecutors, and starry-eyed true believer public defenders. Never before has the judging profession been laid bare for all to see.