The Pequod Review:
Although the charges were dropped, the 2006 rape indictment of three Duke University lacrosse members was an extraordinary injustice, as crucial exculpatory evidence was either ignored or suppressed. In Until Proven Innocent, Stuart Taylor (and his co-author KC Johnson) intelligently recount the details of the case, with a focus on the negligence of the lead prosecutor, Durham County DA Mike Nifong. But in a more passionate and controversial turn, the authors extend culpability to the news media and Duke faculty members, both of whom (the authors claim) operated with a PC-driven “lynch mob mentality” in credulously believing the accuser and boosting the profile of the case. Unfortunately, Taylor and Johnson are too transparently agenda-driven in this part of their narrative, and paint with too broad a brush in making general accusations towards large and diverse groups. It’s a shame, since it seems clear that PC concerns in part drove the story’s wider narrative; and it’s a case that absolutely deserves a thoughtful and careful examination of what went wrong.