Author: Andrea Lyon, Author

Publisher: Kaplan

ISBN 978-1-60714-434-2

Click Here To Purchase Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer


Andrea Lyon, author of Angel of Death Row, has defended over thirty death row clients and one hundred thirty homicides. (2010, inside cover) Nearly sixty percent of those death row clients cases were in the penalty phase, she prevailed in all allowing them life in prison instead of suffering the death penalty. Lyon has previously been Chief of the Homicide Task Force where she led twenty two attorneys in defense of people accused of homicide in the greater Chicago area. She is Director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases and Clinical Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs, at DePaul University College of Law. (p.167) Lyon is a mother, wife, and staunch supporter of human rights. She lives in Flossmoor, IL.

Andrea Lyon begins her book with her decision to become a lawyer, which was predetermined during her teen years. Once she set her sights on that lofty goal she excelled at all she was challenged to do. She graduated from Livingston College at Rutgers University and then attended Antioch School of Law where she was fortunate to be exposed to the duties of public defense from work within their legal clinic. (2010, ch.1)

Ms. Lyon managed to sell her way into the Public Defender’s office in Cook County Illinois shortly after graduation where she defended a variety of clientele who were unable to secure their own private defense because they were poor. Eventually she worked her way into the Homicide Task Force, where she was the only woman tough enough to make the cut. It was here where she was able to follow her hearts passion and save unfortunate people from their death row plight. Doing so meant working overtime and digging deeper than anyone had previously, but it also saved many a life. She became known as the “Angel of Death Row”.

Ms. Lyon’s book walks through some of her more memorable cases and recounts many of the challenging moments she managed to overcome usually against incredible odds. It was heartwarming, sad, and enlightening to read about the lives of these people on death row. I smiled, cried, and learned a lot in this journey. I would definitely want Ms. Lyons in my corner should I ever find myself in such a sad predicament as these clients. She renewed my belief that there are some defense attorneys who are compassionate and fair instead of only seeing that which is on the surface of ones rap sheet.

Many times we hear about attorneys, both for the prosecution and defense, who are blind to the injustices that occur, sadly with some regularity, in our judicial system. These people are motivated by simply moving one case through the system as rapidly as possible without reflection or consideration for the person and families behind these horrific crimes. Andrea Lyon is not one of them. She actually cares about the outcomes from her trials and the people she is involved with saving.

I would recommend this book to all young people considering a life dedicated to the law, especially the young women. Let the ideals, work ethic, and beliefs of Andrea Lyon guide your conscience and you’ll have nothing to fear. Thank you Ms. Lyon for a very inspirational read!


Click Here To Purchase Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer