My Demons Were Real

My Demons Were Real

Constitutional Lawyer Joseph Calamia's Journey

eBook - 2010
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Book News
Arte Público Press specializes in publishing contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors. This biography documents the life and career of Joseph Alber Calamia, an American of Hispanic descent, who began his career as a criminal defense attorney in El Paso, Texas in 1949. He had plenty of injustice to fight against, and he fought tenaciously in the face of great odds. Author Ybarra is a retired career diplomat and journalist based in El Paso, Texas. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Blackwell Publishing
Even as a teenager, Joseph Albert Calamia understood the need to live by the rule of law. In high school, a class bully's continual harassment of a skinny Hispanic kid led Joseph to confront him. But he wisely did so with the coach's permission, challenging the boy to a boxing match. The tormentor went down quickly and Calamia settled the score under the jurisdiction of the high school coach.

Calamia began his career as a criminal defense attorney in El Paso, Texas, in 1949. He was a crusader for justice, considered by many to be akin to Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. But he disagreed, "The big difference is that my demons were real." His demons were the institutionalized practices that favored expediency over the rights of individuals; he spent his lifetime fighting to ensure peoples' rights were not trampled by lawmakers and law enforcers.

A World War II veteran, Calamia grew up in El Paso's Segundo Barrio, a few blocks from the Rio Grande River that separated Mexico from the United States. He grew up in a world that expected those of Mexican descent to maintain their inferior status. But he would not stand by and let injustice occur without a fight. Over the course of his long career, Calamia successfully challenged a host of attacks against civil liberties, including police undercover tactics and the constitutionality of searches and seizures in drug, immigration and other cases.

This enlightening book documents the efforts of one man who devoted his life to protecting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Publisher: Houston, TX : Arte Publico Press, Ă2010
ISBN: 9781611923698
Characteristics: 1 online resource (269 pages) : [10] portraits


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