Convictions

A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves

John Kroger

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Convictions is a spellbinding story from the front lines of the fight against crime. Most Americans know little about the work of assistant United States attorneys, the federal prosecutors who possess sweeping authority to investigate and prosecute the nation’s most dangerous criminals. John Kroger pursued high-profile cases against Mafia killers, drug kingpins, and Enron executives. Starting from his time as a green recruit and ending at the peak of his career, he steers us through the complexities of life as a prosecutor, where the battle in the courtroom is only the culmination of long and intricate investigative work. He reveals how to flip a perp, how to conduct a cross, how to work an informant, how to placate a hostile judge. Kroger relates it all with a novelist’s eye for detail and a powerful sense of the ethical conflicts he faces. Often dissatisfied with the system, he explains why our law enforcement policies frequently fail in critical areas like drug enforcement and white-collar crime. He proposes new ways in which we can fight crime more effectively, empowering citizens to pressure their lawmakers to adopt more productive policies. This is an unflinching portrait of a crucial but little-understood part of our justice system, and Kroger is an eloquent guide.

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Book Excerpts

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Prologue
Sal “The Hammerhead” Cardaci was a small-time Brooklyn car thief. Back in the 1980s, his head was blown off by a .357 fired at point-blank range. Years later we dug up his bones in a Brooklyn basement, where they had been buried under a rough concrete slab. For the last six months those bones have been in my office, sitting on my desk in a cardboard box. Today they are in evidence, back in the jury room. I am a federal mafia prosecutor, and I am waiting for a verdict.
 My defendant is Gregory Scarpa, Jr., mafia capo and hitman.

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Reviews

Praise for Convictions

“John Kroger’s Convictions is the best book about being a federal prosecutor since Jeffrey Toobin’s Opening Arguments. It is an engrossing look at how some of the most famous criminal cases of our era were built and won, and probably the frankest discussion ever of the extraordinary ethical dilemmas that go with wielding the government’s crushing power over lives.”  –Scott Turow, author of Limitations

Convictions is many things at once, all brilliantly: a mob story, a drug kingpin story, a white-collar corruption story. But at its heart and most profoundly it is the coming-of-age story of a young man who has everything it takes to be great at his job, only to discover this isn't enough to do good in the world. Kroger wins here as he did in the courtroom—with simplicity and candor, passion and integrity, and a ferocious, persuasive intelligence.” –Susan Choi, author of American Woman
 
“As a former assistant district attorney, I can identify with John Kroger’s Convictions.  It is straightforward and truthful, and it shows life as it really is in the “pit.”  This searching memoir is suspenseful and enlightening reading for lay people and members of the legal profession alike.” –Joe Jamail, author of Lawyer: My Trials and Jubilations    

"Convictions is the extraordinarily intimate account of a prosecutor's coming of age. John Kroger takes readers by the hand and invites us to boldly face, along with him, the thriving parallel dystopia of the world's most dangerous criminals. Replete with fascinating detail that illuminated for me a maze of law enforcement issues that I'd never grasped before, this book is essential reading for an informed citizenry." —Terri Jentz, author of Strange Piece of Paradise

Convictions is a mesmerizing account of federal criminal prosecution from the inside. John Kroger has been there, fighting the good fight against drug dealers, Mafia kingpins, and corporate sleazes. But the good fighter does not always win, and winning sometimes requires compromises along the way. For anyone interested in true crime and criminal justice, this is a must read.”  —Peter Charles Hoffer, author of The Supreme Court:  An Essential History  and Distinguished Research Professor, University of Georgia


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About the Author

John Kroger

John  Kroger is a former federal prosecutor who served on the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force; he was also deputy policy director of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He now teaches at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.

John Kroger

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Available Formats and Book Details

Convictions
A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves
John Kroger

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429939669
ISBN10: 1429939664
6 x 9 inches, 480 pages, Sources
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
May 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374531775
ISBN10: 0374531773
5 9/16 x 8 11/16 inches, 480 pages, Sources
$17.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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