Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
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Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  47 reviews
“A masterful examination of the pathetic rush to judgment in the Duke rape case.” —John Grisham

The full story of the Duke Lacrosse case, by the authors who broke it

In this American tragedy, Stuart Taylor, Jr., and KC Johnson argue, law enforcement, a campaigning prosecutor, biased journalists, and left-leaning academics repeatedly refused to pursue the truth while scapegoa...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 4th 2007)
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Rebecca
Jun 29, 2008 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: law students, anyone interested in government or
This book was hard, almost impossible to get all the way through--not because it was poorly written, but because it was almost too involving. This is a case where truth really is stranger than fiction; I've never had a movie or a novel I couldn't finish, but this horrified my to such an extent that I could only get through a few pages at a time before getting so depressed I had to put it down. I'm normally a believer in the system as a whole; obviously it has its flaws and its bad actors, but th...more
Stephanie Harris
I have to confess I never finished this. The facts are compelling, and it have always believed that Mr. Nifong committed prosecutorial misconduct and that regardless of what occurred, the likelihood of conviction was infinitesimal given the facts. I'm a prosecutor, and I was outraged by the prosecution. I also think the university bowed to political pressure rather than act responsibly. Which is not to say these boys didn't behave abhorrently, or that the lacrosse culture wasn't disgusting. In s...more
Kristy
This is by far the best book I've read all year. It's intense and rather daunting, but it will grab the reader and make you think. It's thought-provoking, and I admit, made me just angry. It's a shape to see what a hold the EXTREME liberal left in seems to have on colleges across America. The left holds to the claim that they believe in the innocent, but this book sheds light on how in the case of the alleged Duke assault, they were willing to point the finger because of politically correctness....more
Karen
Interesting read. I wanted to read it because we lived there and Kevin went to school there at Duke. It was a neat read for me since I knew the places mentioned as well as some of the people. Interesting book for anyone. Every person in our country should be innocent until proven guilty, but as this book points out, this is not true for many cases around the country. The Duke Lacrosse team was already convicted prior to any trial in the newspaper, television, and within the Duke community.
Joe
It is sickening to realize that this is world in which we live. Our news sources are motivated not by the spread of accurate information but rather by the dramatic impact of the slants that can make the best headlines. This case is sickening, though not because of the "crime," but because of the reactions we the masses had to it. Truly eye-opening. Something like this should be required reading in every college journalism course in the country.
Robin
Although I followed this story somewhat in the newspapers as it was unfolding, I really had no idea what the real story was. This is a page-turner and an eye-opener. The story is powerful and breathtaking and frightening. It challenges one's assumptions about the legal system and introduces those of us who attended college many years ago to what life today is like on campus.
Jason


Shame on the editor...some clear typos, and the story could be tighter. That said, if this book doesn't move you--to the point of wanting to scream--I am not sure what will. The injustice done by the Duke community and Durham law enforcement community to the young men on the lacrosse team is unfathomable. Political correctness run amok.
Vanessa
This is by far the best book I've read all year.An excellent account on what actually occured with the Duke Lacrosse, rather than what the media reported.5 Stars for Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson.
Laura
A great book that captures your attention and holds onto it. Also a great lesson for prosecutors on how not to "Nifong" it.
Thomas D Sinex
Excellent book about how dangerous and irrational some can be...
Julie
I was aware of the Duke rape case when it first hit the news, although I didn’t follow it closely, and I remember the ultimate pronouncement that three young men were innocent of the charges. But I wasn’t aware of how badly the men were treated by Duke administrators and faculty and just how terribly they were savaged by the national media.

This book does a fantastic job of detailing both the circumstances of the supposed crime, the problems with the investigation and the subsequent cover up, and...more
james
Incredibly detailed and well-written, this book chronicles almost moment-by-moment the Duke Lacrosse "scandal" over the period of about a year. I would recommend anyone entering college read this book to see how they will likely be treated as a student, if they should run into trouble with their university.

About 50% focuses on prosecutorial misconduct, 30% on outrageous media behavior, and 20% on Duke administrators' and faculty shameful responses to the public accusations of the lacrosse player...more
Ice
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'...more
Jon
Gosh, raising the drinking age to 21 back in the 80s sure was a great idea, wasn't it? No, actually, it wasn't, since it led to college drinking being pushed off-campus, resulting in hideous incidents such as the Duke University "rape case". (I use quotes since no rape--or any crime, except drinking by students who would have been old enough in any country with more damn sense than this one--actually occurred.) The NAACP, some local medical professionals, Duke administrators and the professors w...more
Michael
5 stars for research, 3 stars for the writing (the authors are definitely not prose stylists), averaged out to 4. I remember reading this book about 3 years ago and feeling my blood pressure rise as the chapters wore on. So much blame to go around, well above and beyond the kamikaze legal strategies of Mike Nifong. His misdeeds were only the most glaring.

The takeaway of this entire fiasco isn't that one particular group or institution railroaded these students for something they didn't do, it's...more
John
Well-researched but poorly edited, "Until Proven Innocent" has the feel of a book that was written hastily.
It's also written in a strident, argumentative style that blunts the effectiveness of its argument. The evidence in itself is compelling; the reader doesn't need to be told what to think about it. Nor do the blog-style insults aimed at several of the villains in this account help the book's credibility.
I was struck, apparently more than the authors were, by the decadence of the culture at t...more
Dave
This book describes and documents the terrifying abuse of our American judicial system through its coverage of the Duke lacrosse case. Three innocent Duke students were persecuted by an opportunistic district attorney seeking to ingratiate himself with and garner the votes of Durham's black community, a gang of 88 left wing faculty members who signed an advertisement which assumed their guilt and screamed for their persecution, a dean who joined the lynch mob instead of cautioning forebearance,...more
Stephanie Driscoll
Sigh......This review makes me a little bit nervous because I understand that this is such a hot button issue....but c'mon. Stuart Taylor takes one extreme and runs with it as far as he can possibly go. This book is so incredibly bias the other way that it was getting ridiculous to read. I'm paraphrasing here, but as Taylor describes the incidents that happened that night, and as we now all know, those boys did not rape anyone, but he made them seem like EVERYTHING they did that night was comple...more
Nick Montgomery


This is the premier book to read on the Duke Lacrosse case if you love Carolina and hate Duke as much as I do. This tome really paints a negative picture of Duke Univ. Its pretentiousness, sanctimoniousness, and its staunch intolerance of all things politically incorrect are laid out for the reader in a thrilling buildup to the inevitable conclusion. The reader will come away galled by the '88' group of faculty and how they turned their backs on several of their own in favor of an implausible c...more
Ralph
An interesting chronologic summary of a nationally publicized tragedy. Sometimes repetitive in explaining why accusations were unfounded but overall I felt that the authors had done the work of investigation that those making accusations apparently had not done. After covering the details of the case, I also appreciated the authors summary of the politics and agendas that prejudiced many of those involved.
Pat
I strongly suggest that if you choose to read this book that you somehow get your hands on the Reader's Digest condensed version. After reading this book, I checked out the unedited version for my husband and he just couldn't get through it because of all the rape/sexual detail.

There are many reasons why I thought this was an important book. How many of you remember this incidence, this trial? How many of you assume that the Duke lacrosse team was guilty? I certainly did and I was literally blow...more
Tracy
Unfortunately this has happened time and time again throughout history all over the planet. This time however, several innocent lives and their families, the school they attended, the town they lived in, the law enforcement in that town and countless other elements relateing to the case were forever changed as a result of what the gross distribution of power to those who wish to exploit it can do. I never saw the news on this myself, but like many other big case's it was all over in the media. A...more
Marla
Very interesting and eye-opening book. Reading it was infuriating and made me incredibly angry, but it was a good book nonetheless. I sincerely hope that this debacle of a case has opened some eyes and has perhaps made other less-than-ethical prosecutors and police realize that they don't have carte-blanche to step on people's rights. Because, sadly, Nifong isn't the first time something like this has happened...he's the first who was *caught* and was widely reported on. It's sick how these peop...more
Kelly
Sep 30, 2008 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people curious about the Duke lacrosse rape case or about politics and corruption
Although my initial impressions of the book were very bad, in the end I think it did a decent job of telling the extraordinarily messed up story of the case. The biggest issue I had with it was with some of the analysis at the end. The authors really have it in for academia, which they slam in a multitude of ways for being liberal. They criticize academia for not policing its own hiring practices, so that they end up with low-quality professors, particularly in the interdisciplinary fields like...more
Lee
Definitely a true story that is stranger than fiction. The fact that the DA, the police, Duke University, and the media all rushed to judgement putting out lies and half truths while hiding pertinent facts tending to prove their innocence makes for an amazing story. You feel so bad for this lacrosse team and so angry with the legal and university sytem, especially the exceptional left wing orientation of the university staff. As one of the young defendants stated late in the book, no matter what...more
Edmund
The writers researched this topic and detailed the entire line of events from the beginning to end almost religiously. Unfortunately, Taylor and Johnson tend to mercilessly attack those who ended up being wrong...in an unwarranted way. Overall, a very informative read; and in many ways, rather chilling. While it did make me stop and think critically about my own beliefs, I do caution that in the process of warning against extremism, the authors have put themselves dangerously close to the other...more
Terrie
4 stars for the writing, maybe 2-3 for personal enjoyment. This was a very, very detailed and dense book. The constant sarcastic tone can get a little tiresome, but certainly it's understandable. It's impossible to read this without constantly saying to yourself "what were they thinking?" I think it bogged down with the dissection of the attitudes of the Duke faculty and administration. Yes, they hung them out to dry, but I was more interested in the utter failure of the NC criminal justice syst...more
Robyn
This book was very good. I am glad I read it. It was very long and detailed, somewhat text booik-ish at times, but so worth the read. I had followed the case on tv and watched some of the shows referenced in the book. I to am guity of presuming guilt at first as well. Please take time to read. This is a very good look into how the media and politics drive society!
Cynthia
Incredibly well-researched, although the amount of detail goes a bit overboard by the end. Same with the tone--an excellent examination of the forces behind this debacle (e.g., prosecutorial misconduct, uber-liberal faculty members with their own agendas), but by the end of the book the authors' rightful indignation turns more to snide commentary.
Jim Strozier
Not an easy read, but worth it. It gets a little preachy sometimes. This is an amazing story about the abuse of power and how eager we are as a society to jump to conclusions. While disappointing the behavior of the police, rather DA, and the media isn't that surprising. The behavior of the Duke University administration is utterly appalling!
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