Your Honor, Your Honor: A Journey Through Grief to Restorative Justice

Judge Leonia J. Lloyd

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 344 Price: (paperback) $19.99 ISBN: 9781663201829 Reviewed: January, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

Retired Detroit Judge Leonia J. Lloyd shares the highlights of her varied careers and her commitment to helping others in this exuberant memoir meant to inspire.

For half of the book, the protagonist is “we,” as Lloyd shared everything with her identical twin sister Leona, from piano lessons, modeling, and teaching high school to a joint law practice and service as an elected judge for Detroit’s 36th District. They were the first twins to serve together on the same bench.

Their list of accomplishments is impressive. Lloyd turns her life’s obstacles into lessons in positivity and perseverance, defeating the racism of a high school geometry teacher, uniting a drama department with disgruntled students, and working with famous clients as an entertainment lawyer. She deals in loving, heroic terms with her mother’s struggles with her mental and physical health, and she gives intriguing glimpses into life as a young black woman in the 1960s, front-row witness to the Detroit riots, Black Power, and the Motown sound.

In the last third of the book, when Lloyd turns to the sudden, shocking loss of her sister and the wrenching grief that followed, a previously choppy style becomes fluid and focused. Lloyd hits her stride as she describes her intense, rewarding work as a drug court judge and her unique judicial approach, a combination of compassion and strict accountability. Multiple moving stories—some first-hand testimonials—demonstrate how Lloyd helped at-risk youth, military veterans, and people suffering from substance abuse turn their lives around.

Not intended to achieve a literary style, Your Honor, Your Honor offers a chronicle of successes made possible by a combination of character, resilience, and determination and makes a strong case for the benefits of restorative justice. Although superfluous commas occasionally impede the flow of sentences, the book documents an admirable legacy.

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