Saturday, May 21, 2011

Raffi Yessayan

Raffi Yessayan is the former chief of the Gang Unit in the Suffolk County DA 's Office. He spent eleven years in the DA’s Office, prosecuting violent offenders and has lecturing nationally on the issues of gangs, guns and crime prevention strategies.

His novels include 8 in the Box and 2 in the Hat.

From a Q & A at his website:

Q. Raffi, you were a prosecutor for 11 years. What made you decide to become a prosecutor?

A. When I became a lawyer, I wanted to work at a job where I felt I was making a difference in people's lives, not just bringing home a paycheck. It was rewarding work trying to make neighborhoods safe for people to live, work and play in without fear of violence.

Q. But you are now in private practice as a criminal defense attorney trying to free the same people you fought to put in jail for so many years. Isn't your work hurting the people in the neighborhoods you were trying to make safe?

A. I don't think so. More than anything else, I believe in our criminal justice system. In order for the system to work, we need to have lawyers fighting for the accused and forcing the government to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In my new position as a defense attorney, I am still trying to make a difference in people's lives by ensuring that criminal defendants, especially indigent ones, are treated fairly within the system.

Q. As a prosecutor (at the time of writing Eight in the Box ), how did you justify writing a novel about a serial killer?

A. This is something I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue