Keating has participated in the “justice” system as a private investigator, a Chief Prosecutor, a Public Defender, a private lawyer, and as a foreman of a criminal court jury. He reveals the truth about the racism, ignorance, arrogance, humor and decency he has experienced during his 40 years at the Bar. He shares the insight gained as lead counsel in over 100 murder cases.
My paternal grandfather was a police sergeant; however, he deserted his family leaving my father and his three younger siblings destitute. Their lives were not easy and as a youngster, my father became an amateur boxer and, later, a professional boxer. He eventually became the British Army Heavyweight Champion. In the interim, however, he broke the law and served a one-year prison sentence in Shepton Mallet, a maximum security institution. Upon his release, he conformed to the law, fought for his country, and later educated himself and had a successful career as a cost-engineer.
My mother left school in her native Ireland at age 14 because her economic circumstances also were dire. After three years as a field worker, she emigrated to London, worked as a waitress and a bus conductor before selecting my father as a mate. She soon became a “sales lady” and would work as such for the next 50 years selling fashions, ultimately to the rich and famous on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida. At the same time, she became an extra in movies.
My parents were married for 57 years and were determined to provide themselves and their two sons a better and more sophisticated lifestyle than the ones into which they were born. We were taught to be aggressive, tenacious and competitive, traits that have served us well. At age ten, I won anl academic scholarship to the Emanuel School, a 400-year-old “Public School.” Several canings tempered rebelliousness. Intelligence, leadership and a sense of fair play were instilled and nurtured as critical values. I was taught there was nobility in helping the weak and in standing up to bullies no matter what form they might assume. Doing so became an obligation.
I am tempted to suggest in response to the query, “Give us a good idea of who you are” that “I am a part of all that I have met” but that often has been said before. Instead, I can tell you, like everyone else, I have not been immune to life’s hardships, sorrows, and disappointments; but, I have learned that my ambition does not exceed my talent.
I have lived in four different countries, and I knew at an early age to embrace diversity rather than shun it. Wouldn’t it be a bore if we were all exactly alike?