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It doesn’t pay to be an outspoken Jewish girl in a small Southern town, battling drug-dealing cops, a corrupt judge and backstabbing lawyers. Star, a brash young public defender, is charged with murdering the judge presiding over the biggest trial of her career.
Randleman County, North Carolina is a frontier mix of homegrown trouble and imported woe on the Cape Fear River. Racial tensions flare when a white deputy sheriff kills an unarmed Lumbee Indian boy. The District Attorney declares the shooting accidental.
The deputy's patrol car explodes in front of the courthouse. Jimmy Ray Oxendine, a Lumbee, and explosives expert, is charged. Star is appointed to represent Jimmy Ray, a man some proclaim to be a political prisoner.
There’s another explosion. Presiding Judge Owen Otis O'Brien, nicknamed Death Row O for sending so many men to the death chamber, dies in his canary yellow Lincoln Town Car on the second day of Jimmy Ray’s trial. This time Star is charged with murder.
Cloak and Gavel: FBI Wiretaps, Bugs, Informers, and the Supreme Court (Univ. of Illinois Press 1992)read more