Edwin Torres (judge)

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Edwin Torres
Born (1931-01-07) January 7, 1931 (age 88)
Spanish Harlem, Manhattan, New York
OccupationAttorney, Supreme Court Judge, writer

Edwin Torres (born January 7, 1931) is a former New York State Supreme Court judge and author of Puerto Rican descent, who wrote Carlito's Way. His book was the basis for the 1993 movie of the same name, starring Al Pacino, and for the 1979 book After Hours, the sequel to Carlito's Way.

Early years[edit]

Both of Torres's parents emigrated from Jayuya, Puerto Rico and settled in the barrio in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem, where Torres was born. Growing up in poverty, Torres graduated from Stuyvesant High School.[1] From there he attended City College of the City University of New York, followed by the Brooklyn Law School.

Legal career[edit]

In 1958, Torres was admitted to the New York State Bar. In 1959, as an assistant district attorney, Torres participated in the prosecution of Sal "the Capeman" Agron. Shortly thereafter he became a criminal defense attorney.[1]

In 1977, Torres was appointed to the New York State Criminal Court. In 1980 he was selected to the State Supreme Court, where he served as a justice in the Twelfth Judicial District in New York City. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over felony cases, and Torres presided over a number of high-profile murder cases.[1]

He retired from the bench in 2008.

Writer of fiction[edit]

Torres has used his insight into the criminal underworld to become a writer of crime fiction. He wrote Carlito's Way in 1975 and its sequel After Hours in 1979; both novels follow the exploits of Carlito Brigante, a fictional Puerto Rican drug kingpin and hustler who ends up doing time in Sing-Sing and struggles to go "straight" after his release. Another novel, Q & A (1977), portrays the investigation of a decorated New York City police lieutenant suspected of corruption.[2]

In the Law & Order: Criminal Intent season 1 episode "Semi-professional " the Judge Raoul Sabatelli character is inspired by Judge Torres. [3]

His Q & A and After Hours novels are currently out of print, though Carlito's Way has recently been reprinted as a movie tie-in with Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.[2] [4]

Film adaptations[edit]

A film adaptation of Q & A was released in 1990, directed by Sidney Lumet, and it starred Nick Nolte and Armand Assante. After Hours was filmed in 1993, but used the title Carlito's Way[5] to avoid being confused with Martin Scorsese's 1985 film After Hours. The film starred Al Pacino and Sean Penn, under the direction of Brian De Palma. The novel Carlito's Way was filmed in 2005 and released under the title Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Puerto Rico Profile: Judge Edwin Torres". Puerto Rico Herald. December 1, 2000. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  2. ^ a b c Gilchrist, Todd (September 23, 2005). "Edwin Torres: IGN DVD speaks to the scribe responsible for Carlito's Way and its prequel, Rise to Power". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  3. ^ "Edwin Torres".
  4. ^ "Judge, Author of 'Carlito's Way,' Chronicles el Barrio". August 20, 2008.
  5. ^ Janet Maslin (November 10, 1993). "Carlito's Way; The Triumph of Atmosphere Over Detail in Spanish Harlem". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2012.

External links[edit]