Life Sentence: Stories from Four Decades of Court Reporting -- or, How I Fell Out of Love with the Canadian Justice System (Especially Judges)

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Doubleday Canada, Sep 20, 2016 - Social Science - 352 pages
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A beloved crime reporter revisits some of her biggest assignments and passes judgement on our judicial system—and especially its judges—in this national bestseller.

When Christie Blatchford wandered into a Toronto courtroom in 1978 for the start of the first criminal trial she would cover as a newspaper reporter, little did she know she was also at the start of a self-imposed life sentence.
     She has been reporting from Canadian courtrooms for the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the National Post ever since. Back in '78, she loved the courts, lawyers and judges, and that persisted for many years. But slowly, surely, she suffered a loss of faith. What happened? It was at the recent Mike Duffy trial she had the epiphany: That judges are the new senators, unelected, unaccountable and overly entitled. Yet unlike senators, they continue to get away with it because any questioning by government or its agents is deemed an intrusion onto judicial independence.
    In her explosive new book, Christie Blatchford revisits trials from throughout her career and asks the hard questions--about judges playing with the truth--through editing of criminal records, whitewashing of criminal records, pre-trial rulings that kick out evidence the jury can't hear. She discusses bad or troubled judges--how and why they get picked, and what can be done about them. And shows how judges are handmaidens to the state, as in the Bernardo trial when a small-town lawyer and an intellectual writer were pursued with more vigor than Karla Homolka.
     For anyone interested in the political and judicial fabric of this country, Life Sentence is a remarkable, argumentative, insightful and hugely important book.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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User Review  - BrianEWilliams - LibraryThing

The story lies somewhere between a good vent about the criminal justice system and a rant about it. Ms. Blatchford makes some good points about a lack of transparency in holding judges to account ... Read full review

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User Review  - ElizaJane - LibraryThing

This is the first time I've read a book like this, about the law so I don't feel up to reviewing it competently. However, I found it to be an excellent piece of writing. Entirely eye-opening and ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
1
ABREHA
52
BERNARDO
172
GHOMESHI ETC
271
EPILOGUE
349
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD was born in Quebec. She has written for all four Toronto-based newspapers. She has won a National Newspaper Award for column writing, and in 2008 won the Governor General's Literary Award in non-fiction for her book Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army. Blatchford is also the author of Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. She lives in Toronto.


From the Hardcover edition.

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