Jurisdiction Denied

The Jurisdiction Series

Fiction - Crime
384 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

The first thing I liked about Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt’s Jurisdiction Denied is that it focuses on a topic that arouses much controversy. A sequel of Jurisdiction Terminated, it has been published after California has passed laws that make it difficult, almost impossible, to discipline kids who commit crimes. The cases of Jurisdiction Denied are fictional, but the general picture is realistic. Judge Marty Goldstein, the protagonist and the narrator, wonders if it is still possible to guarantee public safety under the present circumstances. At the same time, the arrival in Los Angeles of a dangerous woman named Hilda spices up the story.

Gold and Debbaudt have previous experience in the criminal justice system, and their deep knowledge is no surprise. I was afraid this book might be too technical for the general reader, but it turns out it is not. Its primary aim is to popularize legal topics and to make people reflect. Jurisdiction Denied is very good at it. Some explanations are necessary, of course, but the tone is lively. Judge Goldstein enlightens readers on the consequences of a system that is not working anymore with sarcastic criticism. I really like that it is a judge who tells the story. This is rare as judges often remain silent while lawyers have the lion’s share. I regard this as an innovative viewpoint. As for Hilda’s intrigue, it adds mystery and suspense and reminds readers of spy stories. Jurisdiction Denied is a very enjoyable and educational book for those who are concerned about their safety.

K.C. Finn

Jurisdiction Denied is a work of crime fiction based on real-life events and was penned by author duo Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt. In this sequel to Jurisdiction Terminated, the series continues with more real cases from juvenile court and Juvenile Hall, told from the perspective of a judge and his deputy district attorney. As changes to the legal system in LA County produce some bizarre new results in the proceedings at court, our judge takes a cynical look at the system he abides by, where young people are supposed to be going through a rehabilitation process to ensure that they find better opportunities and do not re-offend.

Co-authors Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt have produced something truly fascinating, and anyone with an interest in how juvenile law and the courtroom proceedings work is sure to find this both and entertaining and a factual way to get information. Having the personal insight of the judge as the narrator is a unique perspective, not least because the narration feels real and has that cynical edge that gives a sense of honesty to the storytelling. Though he’s eloquent and reasonable in his overview of both the system as well as those people working through it and being judged by it, there’s wry humor and a refreshing sense of frustration that changes need to be made, making the real outcomes of the situations taking place all the more impactful. Overall, Jurisdiction Denied is an excellent fictionalization of a unique slice of life in the criminal justice world.

Amanda Rofe

Jurisdiction Denied (The Jurisdiction Series) by Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt is a crime novel and the sequel to Jurisdiction Terminated. While the novel is a work of fiction, it reflects actual and typical events surrounding juvenile criminals including courtroom drama which is typically hidden away from public view. This book cracks open the secrecy, allowing the public a chance to get a real taste of what is happening on the ground, including the private thoughts of the presiding judge as he deals with each case. This is a hard-hitting look at the juvenile justice system from a fictional viewpoint. In particular, it provides a critique of new laws that have changed the way juveniles who commit crimes are treated in Los Angeles.

Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt pen a sharp and witty narrative about the failings of the juvenile judicial system. Liberally peppered with expletives, the punchy honesty of the book made me smile despite the seriousness of the subject matter. Written by a retired Juvenile Court Commissioner and a working deputy district attorney, it is a no holds barred look at juvenile judicial shenanigans. A litany of complaints is voiced regarding the way the offenders are treated and social engineers take a hammering for suggesting creative alternatives to traditional punishments. Their new fangled ideas are being blamed for the leniency of the system and the subsequent rise in crime rates. Jurisdiction Denied is a modern day Raymond Chandler novel on steroids. Buckle up and brace yourself because this fascinating book tells it how it really is.