Until Proven Innocent

Until Proven Innocent

Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

Book - 2007 | 1st ed
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"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 journalists, and left-leaning academics repeatedly refused to pursue the truth while scapegoats were made of these young men, recklessly tarnishing their lives." "The story harbors multiple dramas, including the actions of a DA running for office; the inappropriate charges that should have been apparent to academics at Duke many months ago; the local and national media, who were so slow to take account of the publicly available evidence; and the appalling reactions of law enforcement, academia, and many black leaders." "Until Proven Innocent is the only book that covers all five aspects of the case (personal, legal, academic, political, and media) in a comprehensive fashion. Based on interviews with key members of the defense team, many of the unindicted lacrosse players, and Duke officials, it is also the only book to include interviews with all three of the defendants, their families, and their legal teams." "Taylor and Johnson's coverage of the Duke case was the earliest, most honest, and most comprehensive in the country, and here they take the idiocies and dishonesty of right- and left-wingers alike head on, shedding new light on the dangers of rogue prosecutors and police and a cultural tendency toward media-fueled travesties of justice. The context of the Duke case has vast import and contains likable heroes, unfortunate victims, and memorable villains - and in its full telling, it is captivating nonfiction with broad political, racial, and cultural relevance to our times."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312369125
0312369123
Branch Call Number: 364.153209 TAY
Characteristics: x, 420 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Johnson, Robert David 1967-

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dennismmiller
Dec 18, 2018

On Monday, March 13, 2006, some members of the Duke Men's Lacrosse team held a party at an off-campus house rented by several of their teammates. The highlight of the evening was to be a performance by a pair of strippers, but one of the dancers arrived inebriated and unable to perform. An angry scene ensued, ending with the sober entertainer, Kim Roberts, hauling her drunken colleague, Crystal Mangum, whom she had not met prior to that evening, to her car. Shortly thereafter, Roberts approached police at a local supermarket, complaining that Mangum refused to leave her car. Finding Mangum incoherent, the policemen called for an ambulance to transport her to a hospital. Once there, Mangum told concerned health care workers several wildly different accounts of the night's events, converging on the claim that she had been raped by multiple men at the party. Although Mangum was inconsistent on a wide range of important elements - the number of attackers, their descriptions, Roberts' role - and although her story was contradicted by testimony from Roberts and the team members, as well as physical, DNA, photographic, and electronic evidence, three members of the team would eventually be charged with rape. The others would see their season cancelled, their coach fired, and themselves threatened by protesters, denounced by professors, and labelled as racist rape-enablers by The New York Times and CNN.

Yet the main villain of the story, as told by Taylor and Johnson, is not Mangum, but District Attorney Mike Nifong. For Nifong, a white man in the midst of a desperate three-way election battle in which his opponents were a woman and an African-American, Mangum's story represented an ideal opportunity to appeal to women and minorities. Once set on this course, the prosecutor was determined to continue to pursue the case even if it required the concealment of exculpatory evidence. The secondary villains are those activists, professors, and media figures who, driven by an ideology of racial and sexual resentment, aided and abetted the injustices committed against these young men. Finally, the authors are deeply critical of the Duke administration's inability to offer even a qualified defense of their students in the face of the angry mob, allowing outrage to trump evidence.

Taylor and Johnson, both of whom reported on the case as it unfolded, carefully detail the story at every stage of its development. Their intimate understanding of the personalities involved is clear, and it allows them to prioritize the personal over the political, but unfortunately this also leads to some apparent personal animus against certain figures. There is also a certain amount of necessary repetition - as lies are repeated over and over with slight variations, so too the truth must prove as tireless as the lies.

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habfreak
Dec 29, 2012

Must read for those smart enough to have spotted the trend of reverse discrimination in modern western society...mostly based on race, class and gender. This book shows why every tuition paying parent should be skeptical of what their children are being taught in class-rooms and why every one us should take everything media feeds us with a rather large grain of salt.

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habfreak
Dec 29, 2012

habfreak thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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