- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (Jan. 10 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060927941
- ISBN-13: 978-0060927943
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining: America's Toughest Family Court Judge Speaks Out Paperback – Jan 10 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
For the past 10 years, Sheindlin has been the supervising judge for Manhattan Family Court, with a reputation for cutting through judicial and bureaucratic obfuscation. Joined by Los Angeles Times correspondent Getlin, she continues her outspokenness in this hard-hitting book, whose title is obviously chosen with malice aforethought. She considers our society to be in trouble because we have infantilized part of it "by shifting the emphasis from individual responsibility to government responsibility." After giving an overview of "our crumbling system," she discusses the cost to taxpayers, then examines underlying reasons for "the lack of responsibility and honesty in American society." Her prescription, offered without any detailed plan of implementation: self-discipline, individual accountability and responsible conduct.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
As a New York City prosecutor and judge, Sheindlin has spent more than 20 years in court with juveniles, both delinquents and objects of delinquency, and parents and custodians who are, lamentably often, delinquent themselves. With Los Angeles Times' correspondent Getlin's able help, she shapes the lessons of her experience into an argument in 10 punches. Each of the 10 is a chapter made up of anecdotal evidence of the abuse of crime and civil-procedural victims, not just by their assailants but by social welfare systems that also victimize taxpayers because of their exorbitant costliness. Besides decrying particular scams and abuses (bad foster care, child custody battles, judges who decide on political rather than human considerations, private social service providers who fleece public funds, miscreants who claim they themselves are victims, etc.), Sheindlin sees American society as having got offtrack. The answer to the messes of urban crime and welfare dependency, she claims, is "self-discipline, individual accountability and responsible conduct." Demand that people behave and make the consequences of misbehavior onerous, she says, and good behavior is surer to follow than if offenders continue to be treated as if they were greater victims than their prey. An old song, you may say, but seldom has it been as powerfully sung. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
I say "Judge Judy for President!!"
As an avid fan of her TV program, I was a little disappointed by the format of the book. The writing style is that of a U.S.A. Today editorial. That aside, I could not agree more with her agenda. However, it is crucial that readers understand how sharply her sentiments diverge from contemporary practice... and why.
Needless to say, criminal- and family-law professors are basically the exact opposite of Judge Judy. Most lawyers receive their training from left-wing defense attorneys obsessed with defendants' rights. Even conservative attorneys have been inculcated with a strong distaste for the 1950s justice system. So let me assure readers that the ideas in this book are NOT going to be well received by law's guiding voices. Of course, academics are not the audience this book intends to reach. Sheindlin wants to reach the masses of people who are fed up with a system that prefers the sensitive and the expensive over the draconic and the laconic.
So what are Judge Judy's proposals? Among other things, she recommends:
- Maximum sentences for first-time juvenile offenders. Judy is not afraid to send 14-year-olds to adult prisons. "You're no less dead if your murderer is fifteen or fifty."
- Punitive rather than therapeutic interventions. No more therapy for people who deserve punishment.
- A vast reduction in "handouts" such as welfare, social security disability, foster care grants, or just plain charity. "They are picking our pockets," says Sheindlin.
- If a middle class kid drops out of school, the $2,000 tax break their parents claim should be eliminated.
- Overturn confidentiality laws. Convicted rapists and child sex-offenders should be forced to get HIV-tested. Currently, courts do not have the power to side step the rapists' precious civil rights. Often these become plea-bargaining tools for defense lawyers. Essentially, the defendant agrees to consent to testing if his jail time is lessened. That's just wrong.
- Dead-beat dads should be forced not only to pay up... but also to work.
- Convicted prisoners should either be forced to forfeit their right to free speech, or else personally pay the costs of litigating their complaints. That would unclog the frivolous and often bizarre litigations they bring - like the gang leader who sued the prison over his right to display his "colors" in jail.
- Juvenile delinquents should be photographed and fingerprinted. Their records should not be held confidentially. That is currently illegal in order protect minors.
- The seemingly admirable goal of placing children with their mothers should be abandoned. Group homes show better results for troubled kids from dysfunctional homes and communities.
- Mothers who fraudulently claim that their estranged boyfriends and husbands committed child-abuse should lose their custody. If there's no evidence, it's likely a cooked-up story. Dad, not mom, should get the kids in such cases.
- America needs a national curfew for kids under eighteen. Sheindlin recommends 9 p.m. on weeknights and 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
- There should be a total elimination of the parole system. In its place, the rule should be one weekly check-in / drug-test at the nearest police precinct. Those who fail to meet this requirement go back to jail. No ifs, ands, or buts. The warrant should go out five minutes after the "parolee" failed to be there.
- Do away with Public Defenders. Everyone should have to pay. There should be no free rides. The day the defendant starts working is the day the government starts deducting his attorney's cost from his pay.
- Parents should pay the cost of juvenile delinquents' jail times. Why should society pay for their mistakes? Perhaps parents will take criminal delinquency more seriously when their purse is being hit.
- Juvenile courts should not be shielded from public scrutiny. If a judge keeps putting little monsters back on the street, the press should be available to complain about it.
However welcome these reforms might look to the average reader, be assured that there is army of contentious lawyers out there prepared to hack them to bits. To them, Sheindlin's smorgasbord of fixes are really just the fantasies of a harsh disciplinarian. It's important that readers see how unlikely all of her proposals are. Take getting rid of public defenders. I can already hear the chorus of ACLU lawyers chomping at the bit: What about the innocent? What about the poor? What about making sure we get paid on the public dollar - rather than having to collect from these deadbeats?
But don't despair, all you Judge Judy fans out there. It might happen someday... especially if the system keep's going the way it's been going. Keep your fingers crossed. Who knows? Things can always change.
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