Authors: Robert K. Tanenbaum
ALSO BY ROBERT K. TANENBAUM
Act of Revenge
Corruption of Blood
No Lesser Plea
The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer
Badge of the Assassin
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Robert K. Tanenbaum
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address
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First Gallery Books hardcover edition June 2011
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Manufactured in the United States of America
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Outrage / Robert K. Tanenbaum.
1. Ciampi, Marlene (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Public prosecutors—Fiction. 3. Murderers—Fiction 4. New York (N.Y.)—Fiction. I. Title.
ISBN 978-1-4391-5600-1 (ebook)
To those blessings in my life:
Patti, Rachael, Roger, and Billy;
To the loving Memory of
My sister, truly an angel
To my legendary mentors, District Attorney Frank S. Hogan and Henry Robbins, both of whom were larger in life than in their well-deserved and hard-earned legends, everlasting gratitude and respect; to my special friends and brilliant tutors at the Manhattan DAO, Bob Lehner, Mel Glass, and John Keenan, three of the best who ever served and whose passion for justice was unequaled and uncompromising, my heartfelt appreciation, respect, and gratitude; to Professor Robert Cole and Professor Jesse Choper, who at Boalt Hall challenged, stimulated, and focused the passions of my mind to problem-solve and to do justice; to Steve Jackson, an extraordinarily talented and gifted scrivener whose genius flows throughout the manuscript and whose contribution to it cannot be overstated, a dear friend for whom I have the utmost respect; to Louise Burke, my publisher, whose enthusiastic support, savvy, and encyclopedic smarts qualify her as my first pick in a game of three on three in the Avenue P park in Brooklyn; to Wendy Walker, my talented, highly skilled, and insightful editor, many thanks for all that you do; to Mitchell Ivers and Jessica Webb,
the inimitable twosome whose adult supervision, oversight, and rapid responses are invaluable and profoundly appreciated; to my agents, Mike Hamilburg and Bob Diforio, who in exemplary fashion have always represented my best interests; to Paul Ryan, who personified “American Exceptionalism” and mentored me in its finest virtues; and to my esteemed special friend and confidant Richard A. Sprague, who has always challenged, debated, and inspired me in the pursuit of fulfilling the reality of “American Exceptionalism.”
At the command of a rotund, jowly court clerk, those people still sitting in the gallery pews of the courtroom jumped up and stood at attention like soldiers waiting for the commanding officer to enter. The lawyers on either side of the aisle—prosecution on the right, closest to the jury box and witness stand; defense on the left—were already on their feet and now turned their attention to the front.
Slowest to rise was the defendant, a slightly built young man with wavy dark hair and large, luminous brown eyes. Head down, defeated, he appeared incapable of committing the horrendous crimes for which he’d been convicted a few weeks earlier. But the big man standing at the prosecution table just a few feet to his right had convinced the jurors otherwise. Now his life hung in the balance.
“Oyez oyez oyez,” announced the clerk, an Irishman named
Edmund Farley, “all those who have business before part thirty-six of the supreme court, state of New York, New York County, draw near and ye shall be heard. The Honorable Supreme Court Justice Timothy Dermondy presiding …”
As Farley droned on, Dermondy swept into the courtroom, bringing a black cloud of judicial decorum. The somberness of the moment was etched into his intelligent, angular face. He had never been one to tolerate fools in his courtroom, and it was clear to everyone present that he wasn’t about to start now. His dark eyes swept across those assembled within the confines of the dark wood–paneled room as if daring any one of them to disturb the sanctity of the proceedings as he stepped up onto the judge’s dais and sat down.
“Representing the People, the Honorable District Attorney Roger Karp and Assistant District Attorney Ray Guma; representing the defendant, Stacy Langton and Mavis Huntley,” Farley said, continuing as he had for some thirty years without missing a beat. He looked at the judge and said, “Your Honor, all of the jurors are present and accounted for; counsel and the defendant are present. The case on trial is ready to proceed.”
Dermondy gave Farley a quick nod. The clerk then turned back to his audience, smiled, and invited them to be seated.
“Thank you, Mr. Farley,” Dermondy said. “Good morning, everyone, especially you jurors—your task has been arduous, but it is coming to a close. I would like to ask something more of you. I know you’re tired, but I urge you to focus now, more than ever, on this sacred task because a man’s life is at stake.”
The judge allowed the comment to sink in as he studied the faces of the twelve jurors. “As you are aware, this is a death penalty case, and what you decide may eventually reach a finality that cannot be undone for the defendant. He sits here convicted by you of two counts of murder. The People are seeking the death penalty and both sides have presented their evidence to you over the past couple of weeks for why, or why not, the defendant should be put to death for his crimes. Yesterday, you heard Ms. Langton present her summation on behalf of her client, the defendant; today you will hear from the district attorney, Mr. Karp.”
Again Dermondy paused to allow the jurors to keep up. They looked worn out, their faces set in stone—they just wanted to go home to their families. Murder trials were tough enough on jurors, especially when they had to be sequestered, but death penalty cases were particularly emotionally and physically draining. Still, he needed them to hang in there a little while longer.
Then we’ll all get to go home
, Dermondy thought. But he also knew from his lengthy prosecutorial background and distinguished service on the bench that this was a case no one would ever forget.
“Let me remind you once again that during summation, the attorneys will tell you what they believe the evidence shows. However, what they say is not evidence, and it will be up to you to decide what weight, if any, to give their presentations. Do you understand?”
He was pleased to see them all nod. “Will you promise to focus one more time on what is said today, and then after the
lawyers give their final arguments, their summations, and I charge you on the law, meaning simply give my legal instructions to you, you will deliberate and render a fair and just verdict?”
Again, twelve heads went up and down.
“Good. I thank you.” Satisfied that the jury was in the proper frame of mind, Dermondy turned his attention to the prosecution table and said, “Mr. Karp, are you ready to proceed?”
Roger “Butch” Karp, all six foot five of him, tapped the yellow legal pad he’d been making notes on and rose from his seat. “Yes, Your Honor.”
“Then, please, the floor is yours.”
Dressed in his usual off-the-rack, bar mitzvah–blue suit, Karp came out from around the table and walked over to stand in front of the defense table, limping slightly from having aggravated an old basketball injury to his right knee. He looked down for a moment at the defendant, who quickly averted his eyes, his face drained of what little color he had left after several months incarcerated in the Tombs, the hellhole otherwise known as the Manhattan House of Detention for Men.