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

Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case [Kindle Edition]

Stuart Taylor Jr. , KC Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 459 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312384866
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0SPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #502,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The arrogant savagery of the bien pensant 10 Jan 2008
Some lacrosse players had a stripper (who turned out to be black) round to a party. She said she had been raped (no one in particular, she randomly picked 3 of them later on). The evidence overwhelming pointed to the fact that she was lying. An out of control DA witheld evidence of innocence while parading around in the national media dragging the players' names through the mud.

The book takes you through the appalling reporting of the case by much of the media, who projected their own prejudices onto the case. So, in fact, did the academics of Duke University, who denounced the lacrosse players without evidence and changed class syllabi to analyse historical examples of black women being raped by white men. Hardly any of them have since apologized.

This book will shock you on many levels. It is a great read for anybody - I finished it within a couple of days. If also you happen to work in a law-enforcement related area, the media, or at a university (as I do) then this book is instructive as to the pitfalls those in your profession should avoid as they try to do their jobs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For those of us used to watching Law & Order's DA (Jack McCoy) protect our rights, this book presents the polar opposite, a man driven by demons and willing to use the power of his office to ruin the lives of college students.

Well written enough to keep me from my own work (I'm an author of historical fiction who grew up in New York) for two days, I was especially incensed at the portrayal of the medial, particularly the New York Times, which has become so smug in its new role of pretending to give readers news but instead delivers editorial content from its politically correct writers. It's amazing how far such a once-noble paper has fallen.

The authors are to be congratulated on their work, as once again they show the age old truth: what everybody knows is usually wrong.

Sam Barone
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Until Proven Innocent 3 Feb 2010
A lucid and horrifying account of what can go wrong when people pre-jugde a case according to their personal agendas.
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137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have book for those interested in the Duke case 5 Sep 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is truly the definitive book for those looking to get the entire story of the despicable Duke rape hoax. Perhaps even more scary than the book's depiction of disgraced DA Nifong, are the sections on the Duke professors and officials who were so willing to destroy (i.e. send to prison for 30 years) 3 innocent boys in the name of political correctness. It makes you wonder if these people have a conscience and how they are in charge of teaching young people. The authors present very granular evidence of the incomptence of Duke President Brodhead, who comes across as a coward, and also the group of 88 "professors" who still teach at the school. These folks, plus the DA and police have made the name "Duke" soiled. This book makes sure that they will be remembered for the cruel fools they are for eternity.
131 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a pleasant read from a nasty affair. 5 Sep 2007
By Lauren Gale - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been captivated by the Duke Lacrosse Scandal since the indictments were first handed down. I found KC's blog in August and looked forward to reading his insightful, intelligent, and down-to-earth posts every day. I hoped his book would be just as organized and fun to read as his blog, and I must say it hasn't let me down.

It arrived yesterday and I muted everything to curl up with it after school. It went very fast and had noticeable bits of KC's dry humor. It appropriately skewers the right villains: the Gang of 88(+23) - there's no shortage of fodder here, revealed to be pseudo-intellects (and scared punks unwilling to defend their words in unstaged public forums); Duke administration - specifically Broadhead; the media - the NYT and Nancy Grace; and Nifong. It does not skewer the NC politicians who sat back and did nothing as much as I think they deserve.

My *only* issue with the book, as well as in his blog, is the Steve Monks affair. The book has speculated, without any evidence, and none brought to light in the book, that Monks had some ulterior motive for running, other than being a deluded person. I really can't reach that conclusion based on the scant mentionings that KC and Stuart have alluded to. Other than that, I feel that the other speculated motivations put forth in the book are fair (i.e. the motivation of the G88) considering the context.

I think it's fitting that this book was released a few days after Nifong was sentenced to his symbolic stint in jail. The real bottom line of the book is that affects of Nifong's actions reach far beyond the court. Nifong's narcissism exposed the pervasive bias in media, on college campuses, and among our most influential and the unchecked power prosecutors have. It also exposed how quickly some are willing to latch on to a narrative. And instead of admitting that the narrative may be, and can be wrong, are willing to reach intellectual dishonesty to keep it true. KC's blog was a breath of fresh air during the entire affair and this book has immortalized that which I'm sure many want to forget.


(This is response to another reviewer primarily, but I think it's helpful to all) This book wasn't meant to tell the story of the three accused as much as it was about exploring the various themes around the events that ultimately ended by vindication. Yes, the three are central to the book, but only as background to the real issues brought up in the book.

The book is timely because all of those properly denounced in the book have yet to revisit what has been proven wrong. All of the allegations that were made in the days after the 'rape' have yet to be addressed.

And more importantly, the sense you get from the book is that there's a frustration there isn't a mechanism to force people, in situations such as this, to 'put up' (for lack of a better word). The very institutions that are supposed to do encourage this kind of dialog, failed miserably. In a perfect world, non-G88 professors would have challenged the G-88 openly. In a perfect world, other prosecutors would have challenged Nifong. In a perfect world, other social rights organizations would have challenged the NCNAACP. I do believe this is the first instance in my lifetime, that so many social pathologies converged to create the real social disaster that is about to cost the city of Durham millions.

In a perfect world, people would learn from this. This is not a perfect world and I have little hope that those vilified in this book will learn anything.
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justifible outrage leaps from every page 19 Sep 2007
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
This is a story of 21st Century America. A woman claims she was raped and sodomized by three young men. The men are all young, white and members of the Duke University lacrosse team, a sport presumed by many to be played only by the rich. Their accuser is black, the unmarried mother of two children, a stripper and perhaps a prostitute as well.

Within days, a large swath of the left-leaning mainstream media, left-wing Duke faculty and an aggressive white District Attorney seeking the votes of a largely black population are declaring the guilt of the three Duke lacrosse players. Justice be damned; this to them is an issue of class, race and gender.

KC Johnson is a history professor at Brooklyn College and CUNY. Thousands of people, including myself, became familiar with him through his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland, which chronicled the events in this outrageous travesty of twisted law enforcement, political correctness, biased reportage and racial politics.

Stuart Taylor, Jr. is a columnist for the National Journal and a contributing editor for Newsweek.

Outrage is present on every page in measured tones as the authors outline the depradations of Mike Nifong, the man who willingly incited Durham's black population in a quest for their votes by referring to the victim's allegations as true, by calling the Duke lacrosse players "privileged white boys", by asking why would the targets of a rampaging DA hire lawyers if they had done nothing wrong, publicizing untrue details of a non-existent crime and worse.

But Nifong, who was ultimately disbarred for his prejudicial comments and his subsequent withholding of exculpatory evidence is only part of the story. Nifong was helped by apparently dishonest or incompetent police officers, by the Duke Medical Center which hired a feminist idelogue as a Sexual Assault Nurse trainee and who changed her stories to fit changing needs, by a gospel singing investigator who thought nothing of intimidating defense witnesses and helping the alleged victim change her story (again) to smooth over the gaping holes in the prosecution case.

It would be awful enough if the story was just about this cast of people who wanted to railroad three young men into thirty year prison terms to serve their narrow, selfish interests.

But there was the Duke faculty, particularly those who taught in African-American, women's studies and similar departments. Before any evidence was available, 88 of these faculty members (Group of 88) signed an ad that essentally presumed guilt. All of them were left-wing activists who saw everything as a matter of race, class and gender. To them this was a case made in heaven. There could be no doubt about the accuser's shifting stories because the accused were rich white boys.

The well justified and supremely well documented outrage pours from every page as the authors examine these left-wing activists and their impact on the case, Duke and academia as a whole.

How any one can read this book and not wonder how to rid academia of its rot is beyond me.

Finally the book takes to task the largely left-wing oriented media who seized upon the race, class and gender issue and pilloried the three defendants without questioning the increasingly shaky case. The treatment of these boys at the hands of the media was deplorable, especially from the New York Times, which as could be expected has failed to apologize.

If the reader begins this book with the naive presumption that the press can be trusted, that illusion will be destroyed by the last page.

Most people know that the North Carolina Attorney General took the extraordinary step of declaring all three defendants innocent and further declaring that no criminal acts of any kind took place. The whole thing was a farce cooked up by Mike Nifong and his enablers to win an election. Too bad if three innocent kids had gone to prison for thirty years.

So far only Mike Nifong has been punished in any way. Maybe there will be a criminal investigation for violation of civil rights. Duke's record in the affair is absolutely shameful, its President, board and faculty caving into the left-wing agenda. None of the faculty members who prejudged the defendants has been disciplined. Some have moved on to even loftier positions. Their racist statements will chill the reader and leave one wondering why they are in positions of trust, teaching young adults at a university where the tuition is $44,000 annually.

This is an important book about an major abuse of the judiciary, police, press and academy. Hopefully it will serve to wake many people up to what has been happening since the 1960s. If nothing more, "Until Proven Innocent" demonstrates what happens when the presumption of innocence is tossed on the trash heap in pursuit of a poltical agenda.

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Brodhead's Moral Meltdown 15 Sep 2007
By Hershel Parker - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE SHAMEFUL INJUSTICES OF THE DUKE LACROSSE RAPE CASE. UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT is more terrifying than any thriller you will read this year. Stuart Taylor, Jr., and KC Johnson trace what happened when three young men were falsely accused of rape. Rather than being defended by Duke University, they were defamed, threatened with castration, thrown to the rogue prosecutor. Many Duke professors as the "Group of 88" egged on the mob who had begun to harass the lacrosse players. There were almost no heroes at Duke, although a very few professors ultimately spoke out against the rush to judgment which proved to be a rush to the wrong judgment. The women's lacrosse coach Kerstin Kimel is depicted here as the kind of person you wish you had been when you look back at a crisis you lived through. Her decency and bravery shine in this dark book. KC Johnson is another kind of hero: the American professor who sensed that something wrong was going on at Duke and set out to document the events in a blog that ultimately helped turn the tide against the Duke mob. One of the most terrifying sections of this book shows that rather than being punished after the truth was undeniable these professors in the Group of 88 were rewarded with greater control of Duke committees. One of the most exciting sections shows how bloggers became heroes when the national media, including Nancy Grace and the New York Times, had joined the mob. This section gives hope that other national lies will be exposed promptly and exposed repeatedly until the country pays attention. The times have changed for the better in this regard even if the Times has not.
Knowing that Brodhead, the master of sly innuendo, as a literary critic habitually ignored the facts and rushed to judgment, whatever the cost to his victim's reputation (see Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 62 [June 2007] pp. 29-47), I recognized the weakling Taylor and Johnson portray in "Richard Brodhead's Test of Courage": "Confronted with a crisis of epic proportions, with Duke's hard-won reputation at risk, he faced his ultimate test of courage. And in an extraordinary moral meltdown, he threw in his lot with the mob." The only criticism I have of this book is that the publishers should have put "Rape" in quotation marks, since no rape occurred.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Storm 10 Sep 2007
By Jack L. Rutner - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson have written a superb book about a perfect storm that was the Duke-Lacrosse case. Were it not so hideously real, it would read like a work of fiction. Taylor and Johnson portray how a bi-polar black, woman who deserved to be institutionalized but did not want to be, told a fib that grew into a monstrous lie (actually many lies). They describe how A SANE nurse could be perfectly insane by believing that any woman making a claim of rape had to have been raped, regardless of all evidence to the contrary. They describe how three white boys who were good athletes, good students, good people and from well to-do families, could be portrayed as being evil people who had taken advantage of a poor black woman just trying to raise her children while going to NCCU, and oh yes, stripping and whoring on the side. They describe how the black population of Durham had, for the most part, been gulled by their leaders into thinking that every black is a victim and every white an aggressor and a villain -- a sort of reverse KKK mentality. They descibe a DA who had lost his moral compass and who, for a mess pottage, pandered to the black community of Durham to be elected; and they show how he suborned perjury, not once but at least three times (although Taylor and Johnson never use that term); and they show how he avoided any evidence that would not fit his preconceived notion of the truth. They describe how policemen because of their hatred of Duke student aided and abetted the DA in his attempt to frame three innocent people. They also describe a couple of questionable judges who never met a DA they doubted, with the consequence that three innocent people had their lives turned upside down for no reason. They describe Duke University as having 88 faculty members who pretend to be scholars, but whose scholarship, for the most part, does not rise above the jejeune, and they describe how those "scholars" threw gasoline on a smoldering fire, with 87 of them, even today, not being able to figure out what it was they did wrong. They describe how Duke, by selecting those pretend scholars to be on its faculty, chose diversity over merit thereby getting diversity at the cost of scholarship. They describe how Duke's administration was absolutely supine in the face of those faculty memebers, and how its President, the inaptly named Brodhead, provided the leadership of a spineless jellyfish. They describe how Brodhead never wanting to be confused by the evidence in the case ran from being informed about it. They describe how the main stream media reported half-truths and untruths which has become its modus operandi. (You can bet, if it's in the MSM it's not true and if it's true, it's not in the MSM.) They describe in particular how the New York Times provided biased reporting under Duff Wilson's by-line. (It appears that the MSM were as uncritical as the jejeune scholars at Duke, and that they too threw gasoline on a fire that was raging all across the country.) All of that led to a perfect storm that was the Duke-Lacrosse case.
Of course, they also describe what ultimately contained that perfect storm. It was three families who believed their sons; it was a group of excellent defense lawyers; it was an honest judge; and it was a group of internet bloggers who would not give up in exposing the untruths of this case.
The Taylor-Johnson book has exposed something else. It is how a large segment of America has become unthinking over the past forty or so years. For that segment, if it's black-woman-poor-transgender it must be good, if it's white-male-well to do-heterosexual, it must be bad. Another thing the book has exposed is how useful the internet and its blogs have become in exposing the mendacity of some our leading institutions -- in particular,the MSM, the so-called ministers of justice, and finally the scholarship amongst certain components of the university faculties that is not scholarship. I highly recommend Until Proven Innocent as an eye-opener to those unfamiliar with the details surrounding this Duke-Lacrosse case.
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the “Duke lacrosse rape” story as a morality tale of white, rich, privileged, racist, swaggering, drunken jocks brutalizing a poor African-American mother struggling to work her way through college. &quote;
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Nifong’s actions—widely seen as the worst case of prosecutorial misconduct ever to unfold in plain view. &quote;
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ONE GROUP TOPPED EVEN Nifong’s inflammatory attacks on Duke lacrosse players. That was the Duke faculty. &quote;
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