UNEQUAL JUSTICE by Guy Reel

UNEQUAL JUSTICE

Wayne Dumond, Bill Clinton, and the Politics of Rape in Arkansas
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Captivating but flawed crime story attempting to link a crooked Arkansas sheriff, a shady prosecutor, and then-Governor Bill Clinton in a criminal conspiracy. Forrest City, Arkansas, home to 14,000, sits hard by the Mississippi and was, in the mid-80's, run under the aegis of county sheriff Coolidge Conlee. According to Memphis Commercial Appeal reporter Reel, Conlee apparently also ran a high-stakes gambling operation; oversaw drug distribution; and was closely allied to district prosecutor Gene Raff, who ``some said'' was appointed as a political favor by Clinton. The trouble began when the daughter of a prominent citizen (and lifelong friend of Raff's) was raped. Her second cousin once removed was Clinton--and on this hinge Reel hangs his indictment of the President. After identifying as her rapist a man who turned out to have an airtight alibi, the victim fingered a handyman named Wayne Dumond. Unable to pick out Dumond at lineup, the victim, ``some said,'' was told by Conlee who to choose. Awaiting trial, Dumond was attacked in his trailer by two men who forced him into fellatio, then hog-tied and castrated him. At his trial, Raff contended that Dumond had castrated himself (``Was that before or after I tied myself up?'' Dumond asked), and the man was sentenced to life plus 20 years. Turned away by Arkansas courts despite apparent irrefutable evidence of his innocence (including DNA matching), Dumond approached the parole board, who recommended to Clinton that the prisoner be released immediately. Clinton refused, and the board, without precedent, ruled that Dumond serve time. Reel quotes a local attorney as saying that Raff destroyed the putative attacker of Clinton's family as a political favor to Clinton. An engrossing story that should appeal to true-crime fans undaunted by its tabloid-style insinuations about the President. The Clinton name, though, may supply enough fuel to shoot this book into a wide readership and 15 minutes of fame. (First printing of 30,000)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-87975-841-4
Page count: 266pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993