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A Whistleblower's Lament: The Perverted Pursuit of Justice in the State of New York Hardcover – March 15, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1555717407 ISBN-10: 1555717403 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Hellgate Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555717403
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555717407
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dubbed the Serpico of Judges, Stuart Namm was the first recipient of the Justice Thurgood Marshall award, the David C. Michaels award, and a lifetime membership in the NAACP. Born in the Brooklyn tenements, he spent 16 months in Korea after graduating from CCNY. After a time in the FTC, he was elected judge in Suffolk County, NY, where he blew the whistle on Long Island's corrupt justice system. Denied renomination after 16 1/2 years on the bench, he left the law and retired to North Carolina.

More About the Author

Born in the tenements of Brownsville, Brooklyn, home of the dreaded "Murder Incorporated" during the height of "the Great Depression," he was accepted into one of the three elite high schools in New York City, Brooklyn Tech. Hoping to be an architect, his family could not afford to send him to any school which taught architecture, as he never made it past the waiting list for Cooper Union, a free college. He entered City College of New York, at that time a free tuition college, as an engineering student. After one semester, at the suggestion of his English professor, not wishing to be an engineer, he switched to Liberal Arts as a pre-law interdisciplinary student without a major. He was a four year member of the CCNY Lacrosse team, under Coach Leon Miller, a full blooded Cherokee and brother-in-law of Jim Thorpe. This was during the Korean War, so he joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps. He married his childhood sweetheart, Lenore Abelson, on Christmas Day 1954, and graduated from CCNY in June 1955, when he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the US Army Infantry. He was called to active duty in September 1955, and he reported to Fort Benning, Georgia, where in addition to the Basic Infantry Officers School, he volunteered for the US Army Ranger School. Upon graduation from Ranger School, he was given orders for the Far East Command, Korea, for a 16 month tour of duty. Assigned as an Infantry Platoon Leader, shortly thereafter he was designated Assistant Regimental S-1, Courts and Boards Officer, after successfully defending two GI's in Special Courts Martial, something unheard of in the Army. He returned to his young bride in September 1955, and immediately entered the evening session of Brooklyn Law School while working full time at Equitable Life Assurance Society, which paid for half of his tuition. His two sons were born while he was in law school. Selected under President Kennedy's "Law Honor Graduate Program," he left Equitable Life for the New York office of the Federal Trade Commission, investigating violations of the anti-trust laws. He and his wife elected to leave New York City, and they purchased a small home in Stony Brook, New York, some 50 miles from Manhattan, built by the Levitt organization, builders of Levittown. Tired of the long tedious commute to lower Manhattan, he was hired by two local lawyers, one who was the Suffolk County Democratic leader, and the other who went on to become a Federal District Court Judge, appointed by President Clinton. Always wishing to become a judge, he let this be known to his partner, and in 1975, he was asked to run for District Court Judge from the town of Brookhaven, a known conservative town which always elected Republicans, and he accepted knowing that he had no chance and no money to finance a campaign.

As luck would have it, he was elected against great odds, post Watergate and a Republican scandal in the town, by 58 votes out of some 64,000 votes cast, Judge Stuart Namm spent over 16 years on the bench in Suffolk County, New York, the easternmost suburb of New York State, including six in the District Court. Originally elected from the Town of Brookhaven, he lost a reelection bid in 1981, after the town returned to its conservative roots with the election of Ronald Reagan as President. He was subsequently appointed to fill a vacancy in the County Court by Gov. Hugh Carey, the court of felony criminal jurisdiction in Suffolk County, after being found "well qualified" for the position by an independent panel of attorneys. Although he would have had to run for election in November of that year, and most assuredly have lost as a Democrat, because of a deal made in New York State by the Democrat and Republican parties after an agreement to add additional judges throughout the state, he was elected by cross endorsement by both parties to a ten year term in the County Court, the highest court of criminal jurisdiction. Shortly thereafter, he was selected by the administrative judge of the County Court to serve as one of the three judges who handled all of the homicide trials in the county.

Dubbed in the Hollywood Reporter as "the Serpico of Judges," and by his detractors as "the Hanging Judge" and "Maximum Stu," for his willingness to frequently hand out the maximum 25 years to life sentence in intentional murder convictions, since at that time New York State had no death penalty, having been vetoed by both Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. Ultimately seeing what he saw as corruption in the administration of homicide trials, in 1985, he wrote Gov. Mario Cuomo to request the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the county's criminal justice system, believing there was rampant corruption in the elite Police Homicide Squad and District Attorney's office, and that cases were being manufactured to obtain convictions in major homicide trials. After a three year investigation by the State Investigations Commission, his "whistle blowing" resulted in numerous forced resignations and transfers in the Suffolk County Police Department, at the highest level of county government, and in the police laboratory. As a result of a deal, he was denied renomination by his own political party led by his former law partner, and ultimately this was the demise of his illustrious judicial career. "A Whistleblower's Lament" is Judge Stuart Namm's compelling, personal account of his life in law and politics, and the events that brought it to an end. Three weeks after leaving New York State, he was the first recipient of the "Justice Thurgood Marshall Award," just three days after the death of that great man, and two other prestigious awards. including the David C. Michaels Award from the New York State Bar Association, and a lifetime membership in the NAACP to "someone who stood up for what was right at great personal sacrifice."

Customer Reviews

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A book as good as this one would ordinarily been read in no more than 2 sittings.
peter fiorillo
Reading it has given me a better understanding of the soulless scoundrels currently at the helm of the SCPD and DA's office in suffolk County NY.
terri scofield
The reader will likely go through the processes of disbelief and then outrage, much the same as the author.
Phyllis Selinker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Selinker on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Part memoir and part cautionary tale, The Whistleblower's Lament shows us how isolation and undesired consequences follow when an individual makes public that which others protect through indifference or a code of silence. Former judge Stuart Namm painstakingly takes the reader through some of the trials in his New York courtroom which gradually led him to the only course of action he could take if he remained true to the ideals of justice.

The book is a sweeping indictment of a criminal justice system gone wrong: police coercing confessions and manufacturing evidence, prosecutors hiding information that should be presented to defense attorneys and grand juries, expert witnesses falsifying credentials, jury panels unrepresentative of the ethnic makeup of their communities and jurors who break rules about seeking information from outside sources, judges who are beholden to political parties for their livelihoods and status.

This is not a "feel good" book. The reader will likely go through the processes of disbelief and then outrage, much the same as the author. New York's court structure differs from many states and it might be helpful to Google it so as not to be confused by some events. But it is an important book that should be read by all of us in the legal system and by everyone else who believes in fairness in our courts and the constitutional presumption of innocence.

Phyllis Selinker, Attorney at Law
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andi on May 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To sum up the problems with this book, all you need to do is read the first sentence of the introduction . It has 81 words in it. Yes that's right, 81. It also has 9 commas. In one sentence. Was this book even edited? The run-on sentences, the jumping around from story to story and year to year, the over-the-top mellow drama. Wow....just wow. And the abundant non-sensical use of the exclamation point.....the author really loves the exclamation point!!!! It's like reading a High School newspaper cheerleading review - there was a Match! Who writes like this? Obviously there is some truth to the events portrayed in this book but the author's clear bias, anger and feelings of being wronged make me as a reader wonder about his credibility in his telling of this story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By terri scofield on May 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished this.While i am grateful to Judge Namm, I'm angry too, that he waited so long to publish this. Reading it has given me a better understanding of the soulless scoundrels currently at the helm of the SCPD and DA's office in suffolk County NY. But I can't help thinking how much more blatant and arrogant the corruption has become over the years... the best I can do is continue to expose it until Suffolk residents have had enough...
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Mr. Namm's book. Perhaps I have a bit more knowledge of his background than most, as I was a County Official in Suffolk. My son was the innocent victim of a robbery at a gas station, and his life was taken by 3 individuals. Mr. Namm was assigned to oversee the trial. It seems Mr Namm spent a great deal of time berrating Detectives James McCreedy and William Mahoney. I know first hand they were part of Suffolk's finest and it was an honor and priviledge to know them. They meticiously handled every detail of my son's case and displayed the highest level of professionalism. He then went on to attack ADA Mr. Steven Willutis. He was the Bureau Chief of the major crimes unit. Mr. Namm decided to try all three murderers all at one trial. The Detectives and Prosecutor left no stone unturned and all three criminals were convicted. Mr. Namm sentenced all three convicted felons to the maximum sentence of 25 years to life. It should be noted that the high court overutrned one of the convictions causing Suffolk County to retry one of the defendents. It was the District Attorneys Office that remedied this problem by accepting a plea bargain. That being 15 years to life. In his book, Namm acknowledged that I went out of my way to personally send him Jewish New Year's cards annually which acknowledged my apppreciation for his role in the trial. I only met Mr. Namm once at the Suffolk County Board of Elections as he was exiting the building and our paths had crossed. The manner in which he conducted the trial and his compassion for my family that he displayed made me hold him in the highest of esteem, I was an election offfical at the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Part of my duties was to maintain records required under the rules and regulations of the State of New York.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Sciascia on June 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In full disclosure, I have come to personally know the author for the first time about two years ago. I am also an ex-New Yorker (thankfully) currently living in North Carolina for over 20 years. Not retired as the author has indicated of himself as I have several more years left in the working world. However, that is about where any similarities start and end with the author and me. While living in NY, I lived upstate many miles away from the Long Island. I say this because I had no prior knowledge of the events mentioned in the author's book. Throughout life, I make my own assessment when introduced to topics that have been rumored about or when I have been exposed to petty gossip. I am about half way through this book. What I have found it to be is a much needed critical commentary of the Judicial System in Suffolk County, NY during the time as described by the author. Having worked in Corporate America for over 30 years, I can honestly say I am intrigued with the author's descriptions and perspectives of events that transpired but I am not surprised. In past years as well as today, politics rules. People have lost their moral compass. The accounts described in the book by the author should be accepted and understood since he was there experiencing the issues firsthand. What I like about the book is the author's street smart, behind the scenes approach in describing the background information leading up to the various convictions and sentencing. Kudos to the author for having the backbone for revealing these intolerable and unacceptable actions taken by numerous "professionals" who all had left their ethics and morals at the front door and were motivated by the almighty dollar and power.
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