[VIDEO] Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case

uke-bookeditor-commen-deskA transcript of the video can be found here. You can also read more about it in ‘s article at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a sample of which is captured below. If you can disregard how awful the music is (what were they thinking? It’s better suited to a melodramatic Lifetime movie, or a TV spot begging for donations to help end abuse of animals) this is a really good documentary.

[Check out the book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” at Amazon.com]


As the problem of sexual assault on college campuses gains increasing attention nationwide, members of Congress are exploring ways to prod universities into better handling sexual assault accusations. Unfortunately, some lawmakers are glossing over the question of due process for accused students, seeking to compel universities to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in sexual assault cases—a weak evidentiary standard that can brand a student a rapist based on a mere 50.01% likelihood of their guilt, as determined by a tribunal in which due process and fair procedures are often the exception rather than the rule.


Advocates of this approach should remember the rush to judgment that occurred in the Duke lacrosse incident of 2006, as outlined in FIRE’s latest video, part of which will be broadcast as part of FIRE President Greg Lukianoff’s appearance on the Fox Business Network’s The Independents tonight at 9 p.m. Narrated by Brooklyn College history professor Dr. KC Johnson—co-author of the authoritative account of the controversy, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case—the video tells a cautionary tale about the dangers of ignoring due process protections for accusations of crime in higher education….(read more)


From the YouTube description:

In 2006, the nation was rocked by allegations that three Duke lacrosse players had raped a woman named Crystal Mangum at an off-campus party. As Mangum’s story began to unravel, the focus of the case shifted from the supposed criminal behavior of the students to the fact that a large number of Duke faculty members wasted no time in presuming that the students were guilty of something, as well as Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s now-infamous disregard of basic due process and the presumption of innocence. Read the rest of this entry »