- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (September 4, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312369123
- ISBN-13: 978-0312369125
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 146 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Guilty until proven innocent was a concept expressed by Duke University's president Richard Brodhead, among others, betraying a stunning misapprehension of America's justice system in the case of the Duke lacrosse players wrongfully indicted for raping a black stripper in 2006. As well reported in detail by respected legal journalist Taylor and Brooklyn College historian Johnson, the facts of the case speak for themselves: rogue prosecutor Mike Nifong willfully disregarded evidence of the boys' innocence; Duke administrators hung the team members out to dry; much of Duke's faculty and the media rushed to assume guilt in the racially charged case (the New York Times comes in for special opprobrium). But these facts are embedded in repetitiously hammering home the basic points, sarcasm and ranting against the political correctness (i.e., obsession with the race-class-gender triad) of academia and the media. The authors challenge the academic credentials of the black faculty members who attacked the team and criticize the Times's Selena Roberts for choosing to live in lily white Westport, Conn. In total contrast, the closing chapters offer balanced, tautly argued discussions of, and remedies for, the central problems: prosecutorial abuse, the frequency of false rape accusations and academic groupthink. 8 pages of color photos. (Oct. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Written by Stuart Taylor Jr. and K.C. Johnson, Until Proven Innocent is the most compelling true crime book of the year. Its immersion into the case and access to the major players makes the reader feel like an insider. The book is crammed full of salacious details, scientific details, background details, etc., but it never feels overwhelming. After reading the book, though, you will feel disgusted, if not outraged. -Amanda Barrett, The Chicago Sun-Times
In their vivid, at times chilling account, the authors are contemptuous of prosecutor Mike Nifong, whom the North Carolina legal establishment disbarred for his by now well-documented misconduct. But their most biting scorn is aimed at the "academic McCarthyism" that they say has infected top-rated American universities like Duke. -Evan Thomas, Newsweek
A superb new book… a book that not only reads like a legal thriller, but also exposes deep problems with America's legal system and academic culture. -The Economist
From the Scottsboro Boys to Clarence Gideon, some of the most memorable legal narratives have been tales of the wrongly accused. Now Until Proven Innocent, a new book about the false allegations of rape against three Duke lacrosse players, can join these galvanizing cautionary tales. Taylor and Johnson have made a gripping contribution to the literature of the wrongly accused. They remind us of the importance of constitutional checks on prosecutorial abuse. And they emphasize the lesson that Duke callously advised its own students to ignore: if you're unjustly suspected of any crime, immediately call the best lawyer you can afford. -Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times Book Review
“Brutally honest, unflinching, exhaustively researched, and compulsively readable, Until Proven Innocent excoriates those who led the stampede—the prosecutor, the cops, the media—but it also exposes the cowardice of Duke’s administration and faculty. Until Proven Innocent smothers any lingering doubts that in this country the presumption of innocence is dead, dead, dead.”
“This compelling narrative dramatizes the fearsome power of unscrupulous police and prosecutors to wreck the lives of innocent people, especially when the media and many in the community rush to presume guilt. The inspiring story of how the defense lawyers turned the tables on a dishonest DA points to the crying need for reforms to give defendants of modest means a fighting chance when law enforcement goes bad.”
—Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union and professor of law at the New York Law School
“In what surely is this year’s most revealing, scalding and disturbing book on America’s civic culture, the authors demonstrate that the Duke case was symptomatic of the dangerous decay of important institutions—legal, academic, and journalistic. . . . With this meticulous report, the guilty have at last been indicted and convicted.”
—George F. Will
“A gripping, meticulous, blow-by-blow account of the whole grotesque affair. It is beautifully written, dramatic, and full of insights, exposing how vulnerable the prosecutorial system is to abuse and how ready the liberal media and PC academics are to serve as leaders of the lynch mob. A must read for anyone who cares about individual rights and justice.”
—William P. Barr, former attorney general of the United States
“A chilling, gripping account of how our judicial system can go terribly wrong. This is an important book that brings the Duke story to life and exposes troubling facts about our justice system and our citadels of higher learning. You may think you know the Duke story—but you don’t until you read this book.”
—Jan Crawford Greenberg, ABC News legal correspondent and author of Supreme Conflict
“The analysis of the notorious Duke rape case in this book is hard to accept. According to Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, this episode was not just a terrible injustice to three young men. It exposed a fever of political correctness that is more virulent than ever on American campuses and throughout society. . . . Unfortunately for doubts, the authors lay out the facts with scrupulous care. This is a thorough and absorbing history of a shameful episode. ”—Michael Kinsley, columnist for Time magazine
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The book begins at the beginning, with the events that lead to this travesty, and it follows it til the end where the 3 students were exonerated. In this time period we get a cool headed, ground level view of a witch hunt in action and it makes for gripping, read it on the bus, read it at dinner, can't put it down reading.
My only knock on it is the last chapter, which was an overview of similar travesties. It wasn't part of the narrative the rest of the book was about, and I read it with much less enthusiasm, despite the fact that I found it well argued and written.
The actions of officials of Duke University were the most distressing part for me. This is a tale of intellectual and moral decadence at a major American University. Anyone with recent dealings with academia knows all too well what to expect from a President Bonehead and his feckless minions and from the Marxist faculty. The Marxist faculty now run the University in America, from the admission of students, the hiring of faculty, the hiring of administrators, and the accreditation boards. Yet, they are accountable to nobody but themselves.
President Bonehead is a factotum of the faculty. He serves at their pleasure. The students and alumni, those who have the most at stake from these decisions, have no say.
To have so much power vested in people who have essentially selected themselves is an anathema to our beliefs and traditions. Lord Acton and Montesquieu warned us about unaccountable power.
At some point, this will have to change or these institutions will die a Shumpeterian death. In the coming years, it appears that the students will face high taxes to finance their grandparent's generation's social security. Its hard to imagine that they would also be able to afford endless years of attending school accompanied by six figure tuition debt.
They will have to get out in the workplace and earn income. There will be alternatives to these institutions.
For me, there is one special minor villain in this story. He was the attorney who tried to "fix" the case for Duke University. He was the one who told the Lacrosse players, "Don't hire attorneys or the police will think you're guilty." When pressed by the parents, he admitted he wasn't representing the students. In academia, you will frequently learn that your friends are not your friends.