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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

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  300 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
What began that night shocked Duke University and Durham, North Carolina.
And it continues to captivate the nation: the Duke lacrosse team members' alleged rape of an African-American stripper and the unraveling of the case against them.
In this ever-deepening American tragedy, Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson argue, law enforcement, a campaigning prosecutor, biased journ
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Dec 25, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 14, 2014 Stephanie Harris rated it it was ok
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
Apr 13, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Nov 03, 2015 Robert rated it liked it
This book is a laboriously researched (but too long) study of the unfounded rape indictments of three Duke University students in 2006. It is a tale of prosecutorial abuse, police incompetence/complicity, university spinelessness, and stomach-turning undergraduate excess that culminated in a district attorney's disgrace and a dismissal of charges--after the students had been hounded out of school, subjected to faculty and student vituperation, and pilloried in local and national media for a crim ...more
Bill Pruitt
Jan 24, 2016 Bill Pruitt rated it liked it
This book has some very good information and a detailed timeline of the events surrounding the Duke rape case. The main crux of the argument is to avoid the rush to judgment that occurred by the media and the prosecutor and police. However, the authors undercut their moral high-ground by engaging in behavior they criticize from others. The authors chastise the media for painting the lacrosse players as wholly "bad" and the alleged victim as wholly "good"- a very valid critique. But the authors d ...more
Stephanie Driscoll
Nov 01, 2011 Stephanie Driscoll rated it it was ok
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
Apr 10, 2008 Kristy rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 24, 2013 Edmund rated it really liked it
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 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
Jul 08, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 22, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok
Over the top rhetoric and repeatedly telling - not showing - the reader who are the good guys and the bad guys is not a strong method of making an argument. From what I can tell, the facts of the case speak for themselves, but rather than telling the story and letting the reader draw the (ineluctable) conclusion that an appalling injustice occurred, the author bangs on his drum so loudly and clumsily that the book became unreadable. I put it down after 100 pages.
Oct 09, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
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.
Nancy Marsanico
Sep 08, 2016 Nancy Marsanico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A true story of a justice system gone wrong. The matter was poorly handled by the Durham community and Duke University.

The entire team was "thrown under the bus". I'm sure their lives will never be the same.
It was satisfying that the young men were not found guilty of the horrible crime they were supposed to have committed.
Aug 29, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it

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.
Sep 15, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 09, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
A great book that captures your attention and holds onto it. Also a great lesson for prosecutors on how not to "Nifong" it.
Feb 22, 2009 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 24, 2008 Jamie rated it did not like it
Couldn't make it past the first chapter.
Thomas D Sinex
Dec 26, 2012 Thomas D Sinex rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about how dangerous and irrational some can be...
Jul 25, 2016 james rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2010 Ice rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
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
May 23, 2008 John rated it liked it
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
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
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
Nick Montgomery
May 29, 2012 Nick Montgomery rated it really liked it

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
Mar 21, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it
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
Kristin Boluch
Jul 16, 2016 Kristin Boluch rated it really liked it
It's a particularly biased narration, which I find annoying; yes, the writers' basic assessment of this story is true, but the outrage seems overdone and disallows for a more in-depth and even fair assessment of some motivations. They excuse what might deserve a bit more censure and invest what reads as an almost personal outrage into their telling. Still, what happened to the Duke lacrosse is outrageous; it deserves condemnation though the good v. evil narrative reduction misses a more interest ...more
Nov 28, 2008 Pat rated it liked it
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
Jan 14, 2011 Tracy added it
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
May 31, 2008 Marla rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Oct 20, 2010 Lee rated it really liked it
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
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