Heavy Justice is the inside story of one of the great courtroom battles of our time, told by the prosecutor in the case, the man who put "Iron" Mike Tyson behind bars. With all the drama, verve, and procedural detail of a novel by John Grisham or Scott Turow, it is also a highly topical morality play touching on all the issues of sex, race, celebrity, and justice that now so perplex our society. How does a master legal tactician establish beyond a reasonable doubt what happened between two people in a hotel room ...
Heavy Justice is the inside story of one of the great courtroom battles of our time, told by the prosecutor in the case, the man who put "Iron" Mike Tyson behind bars. With all the drama, verve, and procedural detail of a novel by John Grisham or Scott Turow, it is also a highly topical morality play touching on all the issues of sex, race, celebrity, and justice that now so perplex our society. How does a master legal tactician establish beyond a reasonable doubt what happened between two people in a hotel room in the middle of the night, when the conventional wisdom could dismiss the whole affair as a groupie going after a rich and famous man? How does a prosecutor weave through the thicket of "expert" testimony when noted authorities disagree radically even about the meaning of physical evidence? How does he build up, layer upon layer, the detailed psychological profile of each of the players, so that motives and values and states of mind become almost tangible to the jury? And what leads the other side to base their defense on a contention so bizarre as this: that the man accused was such a disgusting human being that no woman in her right mind would have gone to his room expecting anything other than raw sex? When he first heard about the Tyson case, special prosecutor Greg Garrison wanted nothing to do with it. Date rape? Always tough to prove. And one of the few facts already reported was that the young woman making the accusation had been in the defendant's hotel room at 2 o'clock in the morning. This case was dead on arrival. Except that when Desiree Washington told her story, Garrison believed her. So drawing on this simple trust, and inspired by Desiree's courage and conviction, he accepted the challenge of this "unwinnable" case, stepping into the ring against not only Mike Tyson, multimillionaire sports celebrity and hero to millions, and Don King, Tyson's promoter and worldwide multimedia cheerleader, but also the Washington law firm of Williams &
With the assistance of Purdue University history professor Roberts, Garrison, the prosecutor in the trial that convicted boxer Tyson of the ``date rape'' of beauty contestant Desiree Washington in Indianapolis in 1991, here presents the prosecution's case again. Tyson is shown as a cold, sadistic, sexually obsessed young man, all but washed up professionally. She is sweet and religious, seeming at times like an innocent child. That sexual relations between Tyson and Washington took place is not in dispute, but her willingness to make a 1:30 a.m. visit to the hotel room of a man who had apparently spent part of the day fondling the breasts and buttocks of other beauty contestants raises more questions about her naivete than the authors answer. In any event, Tyson was found guilty and sentenced to six years; the verdict is now under appeal. (Apr.)
In 1992, Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion of the world, was convicted of raping a beauty contestant who came to his hotel room. Tyson and his entourage painted her as a gold digger, a woman who consented to sex but then cried rape. Garrison, the attorney who prosecuted the case, and Roberts, a historian and boxing expert, tell instead the story of a naive but courageous young woman who convinced a jury that date rape is indeed painful, humiliating, and a crime. They detail how Tyson was seen by most sports experts as a man headed toward self-destruction; address the climate of the times, including the impact of the William Kennedy Smith trial and Clarence Thomas hearings; and, most importantly, present a very readable, yet nonlurid account of the pain a rape victim suffers, first at the attack and then at the trial. A terrific book for all collections, including sports, crime, and women's issues.-Sally G. Waters, Stetson Law Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Marion County, Indiana, prosecutor's office retained former prosecutor Garrison to handle the state's case against former heavyweight champion Tyson for the alleged July_ 19, 1991, rape of Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington; Purdue history professor Roberts has written books about boxing champs Jack Dempsey and Jack Johnson. Their collaboration describes the highly publicized confrontation from the state's side of the courtroom: from Tyson's arrival at the Indianapolis Black Expo and Garrison's recruitment as prosecutor in October 1991 through the case's pretrial motions, voir dire, and trial itself, and up to the Indiana Court of Appeals' August 6, 1993, denial of Tyson's appeal as argued by a flamboyant Alan Dershowitz. "Heavy Justice" fleshes out the tabloid drama's dozens of characters--attorneys and police officers, witnesses and court personnel--to produce an engrossing narrative. The her-word-against-his nature of the charge polarized public opinion about this sensational case, but devotees of Court-TV and Grisham best-sellers will want to wallow in the details despite the authors' commitment to one side in this ongoing controversy.