Legal journalist Stuart Taylor discusses his new book, "Until Proven Innocent," which takes a deeper look at the controversy surrounding the Duke University Lacrosse team rape case.Their innocence is old news. I named the accuser back in April 2006 because I had concluded that they were innocent.
I am sure that Taylor and K.C. Johnson do a fine job of documenting the innocence of the Duke lacrosse players, but I doubt that the book goes far enough in exposing the evil behind the prosecution.
Taylor places most of the blame on the "rogue District Attorney Mike Nifong". The blame should really go primarily to the justice system that is fundamentally tilted against anyone accused of a sex crime.
What saved the Duke boys was not the justice system, but modern technology. Without digital cameras, cell phones, ATMs, video surveillance, DNA tests, and bloggers, they would be in jail today. Even when they presented overwhelming evidence of their innocence to the judge, the judge still refused to dismiss the charges. It still took overwhelming public pressure, and documentation of mistakes by the accuser, police, and DA.
There are many others in jail today for sex crimes based only on flimsy evidence. The rules of evidence for sex crimes is very one-sided, and the public has no patience with accused sex offenders.
Disbarring Nifong was really a fluke. I bet that prosecutors in every state have done worse things, and nothing happened to them even when they got caught.
No, this is not just a story of a rogue prosecutor. It is the story of how hard it is in our society for anyone to prove himself innocent of a sex crime.