The Law: Tough, Honest and Fired

Richard Sprague is a prosecutor's prosecutor. During the 17 years he worked in the Philadelphia district attorney's office, he supervised or prosecuted more than 10,000 cases, won 69 out of 70 first-degree murder trials and obtained the death penalty 19 of the 22 times he requested it. Sprague could never be confused with a bleeding heart; "I've never lost any sleep," he has said, "over men I helped send to the chair."

He came to national fame when Pennsylvania named him special prosecutor to investigate the murders of Insurgent Mine Workers Leader Joseph Yablonski and members of his family. Sprague cracked the...

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