The Law of Innocence

The Law of Innocence

Book - 2020
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"Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is charged with murder and can't make the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge. Mickey elects to defend himself and must strategize and build his defense from his jail cell in the Twin Towers Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles, all the while looking over his shoulder, as an officer of the court he is an instant target. Mickey knows he's been framed. Now, with the help of his trusted team, he has to figure out who has plotted to destroy his life and why. Then he has to go before a judge and jury and prove his innocence."
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, ©2020.
ISBN: 9780316485623
Characteristics: 423 pages ;,25 cm.

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CarolMichael
May 14, 2021

I really like Connelly's writing and found this book just as riveting as his other books right up to almost the end. I thought that the conclusion to the trial was a letdown after such a wonderful lead up in the trial itself. Still worth reading and a wonderful insight into prison life.

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Bookworm1136
May 10, 2021

4 stars. The latest book in the Micky Haller/Lincoln Lawyer series was an interesting read. Mickey has been set up and is in jail for the murder of a former deadbeat client of his, found shot and in the trunk of his car. He enlists his regular team plus Harry Bosch, his half brother, to help him discover who killed the man and who set him up. What they discover leads to the FBI and a huge sting they are running, but no one wants to go on record to help his case. The court proceedings are a cat and mouse game between Haller and Prosecutor Berg, who firmly believes he is a killer and is determined to get a guilty plea. I found the book in itself very interesting but found the ending a bit contrived and disappointing, but all in all, it was still a good legal thriller.

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writermala
May 03, 2021

Michael Connelly has the reputation of being a master storyteller. This book is no exception. The Lincoln Lawyer, Mick Haller is just coming off a big win when he is pulled over by a cop who finds a body in his car trunk. Things go downhill from there on when a vindictive judge slaps a bail of $ 5 million on him which needless to say he can't meet. Thus he ends up in the violent Twin Towers jail and has to plan his defense from there. I wouldn't want to be a spoiler and reveal anymore. Suffice it to say that Haller would like to be exonerated rather than just declared Not Guilty. I must say that I missed the courtroom drama I was looking forward to and found the ending a trifle unsatisfactory but you be the judge.

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nannerl
Apr 14, 2021

Excellent! I found this to be a good page-turner, very well written. I see some comments here are mistaking the views of some of Connelly's characters to be his personal views. This is fiction, folks! And jury selection is what it is, and often based on factors you may not approve of, but those thought to offer the best outcome for the side making the selection.

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FirstAmendment
Apr 06, 2021

Michael Connelly was one of my favorite authors. I've read all of his printed works. Sadly, he's been on a downward trajectory for a while. Perhaps he's bored, perhaps his financial success and hobnobbing with Hollywood folks is a factor. Increasingly, his works include left-coast political tripe that isn't relevant to the story. "The Law of Innocence" continues that, with numerous swipes at Trump and conservatives. These comments will likely look dumber in the bright light of history and hindsight and likely are going to cost him many readers.

For example, in the jury selection process (Haller is on trial for murder and serving as his own defense counsel), the lead character Mickey Haller is relieved when a prospective juror makes it to the jury (though she evidently had provided financial support to an anti-American Marxist organization). Then, Haller works to exclude another prospective juror based on her race, Christian faith, Trump bumper sticker and because her soldier-husband was killed in Iraq 16 years before (so obviously, she couldn't be trusted to fairly serve on a jury); from Page 265, "an indicator that truthfulness was not an important part of her framework....She had to go." This is just one example; there are other swipes that sound like soundbites from a cable "news" hack.

Except for these unnecessary elements, this novel was slightly better than some of his other recent novels and it might have made it to a 4 star rating without this bilge. Perhaps Connelly is less bored with the Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller) character than he is with the character who made him rich and successful (Harry Bosch).

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crlcrl
Apr 04, 2021

Not very good. The plot isn’t realistic and for some reason the author decided to introduce his political beliefs into the plot. Ugh! I stopped watching TV so I could avoid the political nastiness and then it’s introduced in the book for no real reason. So tiring!

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SusanEFuller
Apr 01, 2021

One of my favorite authors and I love his characters....
So disappointing, however, to see all the Trump bashing in this book! Doesn't matter what side anyone's on, I just want to be able to escape the negative stuff for a while, and I do not appreciate being subjected to the author's political views when it is not crucial to the story line.
He'd better not do that to the Bosch series!

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weezie1
Mar 22, 2021

Dwayne read this book and really enjoyed it.

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

(Added quotes today Mar 21)

The flamboyant criminal defense lawyer Mickey Haller (AKA the Lincoln lawyer first introduced by the author in 2005,) was arrested for the murder of one of his scum bag client on Monday night, October 28, 2019 (published on November 10, 2020.) Over the course of the next 30 days, Readers get to experience Mickey's jail time and court trial to prove he is innocent.

Note: Though can't find reference in the book, likely inspired by true crimes associate with frauds to exploit the federal subsidy program in biodiesel made with feedstocks. Here is an example of an on going court case in wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Imperial_Petroleum,_Inc.

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Jeffreyhh
Mar 21, 2021

A page-turner as usual. Can't imagine what life would be like if Michael Connelly retires! Stephen King is right that a great story is written with the heart, so it'll be impossible for an "assistant" or "mentee" to continue the amazing Lincoln books and Bosch books if the master retires!
It's funny to see the pandemic as part of the backdrop of the story, too. I didn't know people were already wearing masks in California one month before the pandemic started. That's interesting to know.
Story has a couple of very gripping twists that make you wanna scream, too!

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Quotes

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jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

A murder case is like a tree. A tall tree. An oak tree. It has been carefully planted and cared for by the state. Watered and trimmed when needed, examined for disease and parasites of any kind. Its root system is constantly monitored as it flourishes underground and clings tightly to the earth. No money is spared in guarding the tree. Its caretakers are granted immense powers to protect and serve it. The tree’s branches eventually grow and spread wide in splendor. They provide deep shade for those who seek true justice. The branches spring from a thick and sturdy trunk. Direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, forensic science, motive, and opportunity. The tree must stand strong against the winds that challenge it. And that’s where I come in. I’m the man with the ax. My job is to cut the tree down to the ground and burn its wood to ashes.

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jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

I saw the Metro Division badge on his shoulder and four chevrons on his long sleeves. I knew they gave them out for five years of service each. He was a veteran Metro bullethead all the way.
===
Should anything happen to me, the deputies were behind an iron grate at the front : the driver and so-called safety deputy. Their role would be simply to sort out the dead and dying when whatever happened was over. They weren’t there to protect and serve, just to move people along in the underbelly of the justice system.
===
You ready on that, Bullocks?” It had been a long time since I had called Jennifer by her baby-lawyer nickname. I had hired her right out of Southwestern Law School, which was housed in a former Bullock’s department store. I had wanted somebody with a working-class law degree and an underdog’s drive and fierceness.

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

I had represented him for several years and through different charges and had somehow liked him even as I privately joined the public in their outrage at the scams he pulled. A weekly newspaper had once labeled him “The Most Hated Man in America” and it wasn’t hyperbole. He was a disaster con artist. Without showing a scintilla of guilt or conscience, he set up websites to take donations for survivors of earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, and school shootings. Wherever there was a tragedy that caught up the rest of the world in horror, Sam Scales was there with the quickly built website, the false testimonials, and the button that said DONATE NOW !
===
“Right now they have me on five-million bail, which means I could get out with a ten percent bond. But you don’t get that money back at the end, innocent or guilty, and that would be about everything I’ve got, including the equity in my house. I can’t see giving all of that away for a couple months of freedom.

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

I smiled like I was some sort of comedian hawking his stand-up act.
===
My investigator was Dennis “Cisco” Wojciechowski and the stand-in was my law partner, Jennifer Aronson.
===

Legal Siegel used to say? ‘Look like a winner and you’ll become a winner’? You don’t look like a winner, Mickey. You can tailor your suits but you still look pale and sick. You need to get out of here and get yourself in shape for trial.” “He actually said, ‘Act like a winner and you’ll be a winner .’”
===
And it wasn’t just an NG. It was the rarest of all birds in the justice system. It was the Big I. My work in trial had proved him innocent. So much so that the state paid damages for their malfeasance in charging him in the first place.
===
The new buses were sectioned off by steel fencing into seating compartments of eight inmates each. This way, if a fight broke out, it was contained to a maximum of eight combatants.

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

My 4 a.m. wake-up at Twin Towers resulted in me getting to my private conference room at 8 : 40 a.m., a total travel distance of four blocks.
===
“There’s one other thing from Harry Bosch,” Jennifer said. “What’s that?” “He said he also wants to help with the defense, if we want him.” This was cause for hesitation. There had always been a low-level friction between Cisco and Bosch that stemmed from their origins as investigators. Bosch was retired now, but from law enforcement. Cisco was from the defense side from the start.
===
A report that was leaked to the Los Angeles Times during the news-starved week after Christmas resulted in a New Year’s Day exclusive on the front page that concluded that deputies had been listening for years to privileged conversations, the contents of which were then used to create tip sheets from nonexistent jailhouse informants. These were then turned over to police and prosecutors.

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jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

Counselor. Driving what? Who?” “Me. I work out of my car and I need a driver. It’s a Lincoln.”
===
I smiled at my daughter, winked at Kendall. Just as I was about to turn to the defense table, I saw the courtroom door open and Maggie McPherson enter. She scanned the gallery, saw our daughter, and slid in next to her. Hayley was now sitting between Maggie and Kendall, who had never met.
===
“If you’re accused of a crime, you’re entitled to a speedy trial,” she said. “In California that means they have ten court days from your arrest to hold a preliminary hearing or seek an indictment from a grand jury. Either way, you then get formally arraigned on the charges and the state must take you to trial within sixty calendar days or drop the charges and dismiss the case.”

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

Innocence is not a legal term. No one is ever found innocent in a court of law. No one is ever exonerated by the verdict of a jury. The justice system can only deliver a verdict of guilty or not guilty.

===

“Okay, so this is the Cerritos Channel right here and we are looking north,” Bosch said. “That’s Wilmington directly across the water and Long Beach to the right.” “Okay,” I said. “What exactly are we looking at?” “The center of the California oil business. You’ve got the Marathon, Valero, Tesoro refineries right there. Chevron is farther up. The oil comes in here from all over — even Alaska. Comes to port by supertanker, barge, rail, pipeline, you name it. Then it goes over there to the refineries and it gets processed and from there into distribution. Into tanker trucks and out to your local gas station and then into your own gas tank.”

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

“You know what they say: the FBI doesn’t share. It eats like an elephant and shits like a mouse.”
===
It’s true that these are serious allegations but sunlight is the best disinfectant, Your Honor, and this hearing should remain open to all.
===

California statutes required that all subpoenas be delivered by process servers or licensed private detectives. It was a safety rule designed to circumvent the possibility of lawyers or their clients serving subpoenas and other legal documents on the people they were engaged in disputes with.
===
A trial often comes down to who is a better storyteller, the prosecution or the defense. There is evidence, of course, but physical evidence is at first interpreted for the jury by the storyteller.
===
“If we have the goods on him, it’ll be about the questions we ask, not the answers. He can take the Fifth all he wants. The jury will hear the story in the questions.”

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

“Is that what they teach you at USC Law?” I said. “How not to jinx a case?” “No, that’s third year.”
===
“Besides, it would be your word against two agents’. Do the math on that.” “Is that why you guys always travel in pairs?”
===
It would be the word of two agents against a video. You would lose.”
===
CNN reports on the ongoing impeachment saga as well as the mystery virus in China. The Centers for Disease Control had announced that it was deploying medical staff to LAX to meet flights from Wuhan and check passengers for fever and other symptoms of illness. Those who were determined to be sick would be quarantined.
===
They’re the government. The beast. And the game is always rigged in the beast’s favor.”
===
“Legal precedent holds that once the death penalty has been taken off the table, this is no longer a capital case, notwithstanding that I face a sentence of life without parole.

j
jimg2000
Mar 21, 2021

“Is it legal? Is it within code? Perhaps. I’ll give them that. But is it fair? Is it in the pursuit of justice? Not a chance.
===
“What’s a Touhy letter?” Cisco asked. “Step one in a protocol for demanding a federal agent’s testimony,” Jennifer said. “Named after an Illinois convict whose case created it.”
===
I was placed back in K-10, the high-power module at Twin Towers where they housed inmates on keep-away status. The only problem I had with this was that I wanted to be kept away from the jailers more than from the jailed.
===
Wednesday, February 19 The world seemed to be on the edge of chaos. More than a thousand people were dead from a mystery virus in China. Almost a billion people were on lockdown there and American citizens had been evacuated. There were cruise ships out on the Pacific that were floating incubators of the virus, and no vaccine was on the horizon. The president was saying the crisis would pass, while his own virus expert was saying brace for a pandemic.

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