Angel of Death Row

Angel of Death Row

My Life as A Death Penalty Defense Lawyer

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
The author, the first woman to serve as a lead attorney in a death penalty case, describes her life and career in the courtroom.

Book News
Lyon (DePaul U. College of Law), called the "Angel of Death Row" by the media, presents a memoir of her career as a death penalty defense attorney. She was the first woman to serve as lead attorney on a death penalty case, and here she recounts the stories of her clients, including the 19 she spared from the death penalty, as well as her years as a legal aid attorney, on the Cook County Public Defender's Homicide Task Force, and her founding of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. She aims to illustrate the importance of criminal defense, help people understand the death penalty and when and why it is sought, and the difficulty defending against it, and the humanity the criminal justice system denies. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Simon and Schuster
Nineteen times, death penalty defense lawyer Andrea D. Lyon has represented a client found guilty of capital murder. Nineteen times, she has argued for that individual’s life to be spared. Nineteen times, she has succeeded.

Dubbed the “Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, Lyon was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case. Throughout her career, she has defended those accused of heinous acts and argued that, no matter their guilt or innocence, they deserved a chance at redemption.

Now, for the first time, Lyon shares her story, from her early work as a Legal Aid attorney to her founding of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Full of courtroom drama, tragedy, and redemption, Angel of Death Row is a remarkable inside look at what drives Lyon to defend those who seem indefensible—and to win.

There was Annette who was suspected of murdering her own daughter. There was Patrick, the convicted murderer who thirsted for knowledge and shared his love of books with Lyon when she visited him in jail. There was Lonnie, whose mental illness made him nearly impossible to save until the daughter who remembered his better self spoke on his behalf. There was Deirdre, who shared Lyon’s cautious optimism that her wrongful conviction would finally be overturned, allowing her to see her grandchildren born while she was in prison. And there was Madison Hobley, the man whose name made international headlines when he was wrongfully charged with the murder of his family and sentenced to death.

These clients trusted Lyon with their stories—and their lives. Driven by an overwhelming sense of justice, fairness, and morality, she fought for them in the courtroom and in the raucous streets, staying by their sides as they struggled through real tragedy and triumphed in startling ways. Angel of Death Row is the compelling memoir of Lyon’s unusual journey and groundbreaking career.

Publisher: New York : Kaplan Pub., c2010
ISBN: 9781607144342
Characteristics: xix, 267 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Jul 23, 2013

Though this book was very interesting, it didn't change my mind on the death penalty. I can't believe how screwed up our justice system is though. Definitely a good and interesting read.


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