Degree of Guilt
adapted as "Degree of Guilt"

Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson

Degree of Guilt
A Christopher Paget Mystery (2nd in series)
Richard North Patterson

Publisher: Knopf
ISBN-10: 0-679-42064-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-679-42064-4
Published: January 1992

Synopsis: A shocking death. A claim of attempted rape. A tale of sexual pathology.
<>br>Christopher Paget is a trial lawyer with a famous past: as a young investigator in Washington, he unearthed a scandal that brought ruin to a President -- and an abrupt end to Paget's affair with Mary Carelli. Now, fifteen years later, they are estranged. Carelli is a well-known television journalist based in New York; Paget lives quietly in San Francisco, raising their teenage son and preserving what privacy he can. Until a charge of murder changes everything.

The victim is America's most eminent novelist, Mark Ransom. The accused is Mary Carelli. Her defense is attempted rape. The man she chooses to defend her is Christopher Paget. Carelli does not deny that she killed Ransom, but a fateful question remains to be answered: Was it self-defense or was it murder? In preparation for a trial, Paget sets out to establish that Mark Ransom was the twisted man Carelli claims he was. With the help of an associate, Teresa Peralta, Paget uncovers compelling evidence that presents a complex and disturbing picture of Ransom as a sexual predator.

But this evidence may not be admissible in court. And there are other unsettling surprises: a secret in Carelli's past that provides her with a powerful motive for murder; facts that suggest she has been lying; a woman prosecutor who firmly believes that Carelli is using the issue of rape to conceal murder; and an enigmatic judge who may very well have an agenda of her own.

With the odds against Carelli's acquittal quickly rising, Christopher Paget is faced with a risky legal decision that leads to an explosive convergence of public trial and private conflict -- a decision that threatens not only Mary Carelli's future, but his own, and their son's, as well.

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Degree of Guilt (DVD Cover)

Degree of Guilt
Mike Robe, Director

Original air date(s): 10/29/1995
DVD release date: 07/22/2003
Studio: NBC

Cast: Teresa "Terri" Peralta (Daphne Zuniga), Christopher "Chris" Paget (David James Elliott), Judge Caroline Masters (Patricia Kalember), Carlo Paget (Adam LaVorgna), Elena Argos (Mae Whitman), Richie Argos (Vincent Ventresca), Rosa (Tricia O'Neil), Victor Salinas (Nigel Bennett), Mackinlay Brooks (Ron Lea), Mary Carelli (Sharon Lawrence),

Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 180 minutes

Originally aired as a two-part miniseries over two consecutive nights.

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