Death is Different: A Lawyer's Story
by F. Michael Mosca
Death is Different: A Lawyer's Story is a compelling book by Sarasota lawyer Felix Michael Mosca. The book looks back 25 years, upon being appointed to represent an indigent defendant in a first-degree murder case. Mosca, prior to the appointment, had never handled a death penalty case and, prior to this first-degree murder case, had only represented one felony defendant. He later learned that 10 other lawyers had turned down the appointment before the judge, who assigned him the case personally, called him about taking the appointment. The book examines in detail his dealings with a career prosecutor, who Mosca, as a naive lawyer, initially believed was out for justice, but found out withheld evidence and forged ahead no matter what the consequences or the rules. Mosca also recounts his experiences with the judge, who seemed anxious to impose the death penalty on the defendant for what he believed was his own political ambitions and discovered police officers who were manipulating evidence.