Rush to Judgment

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Rush to Judgment
AuthorMark Lane
CountryUnited Kingdom
SubjectAssassination of John F. Kennedy
PublisherThe Bodley Head
Publication date
August 1966
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages478 pp
LC ClassE842.9 .L3 1966a

Rush to Judgment: A Critique of the Warren Commission's Inquiry into the Murders of President John F. Kennedy, Officer J.D. Tippit and Lee Harvey Oswald is a 1966 book by American lawyer Mark Lane. It is about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and takes issue with the investigatory methods and conclusions of the Warren Commission.[1][2] The book's introduction is by Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford.[3] Although it was preceded by a few self-published or small press books, Rush to Judgment was the first mass-marketed hardcover book to confront the findings of the Warren Commission.[4]

The title of the book was taken from Lord Chancellor Thomas Erskine's defense of James Hadfield, who had attempted to assassinate King George III in 1800.[3] According to Alex Raskin of the Los Angeles Times, "Rush to Judgment opened the floodgate for [Kennedy assassination] conspiracy theories".[5]


Rush to Judgment[edit]

Rush to Judgment criticizes in detail the work and conclusions of the Warren Commission. It is based on witness and expert interviews as well as evidence from the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission report itself. Sixteen publishers canceled contracts with Lane before Rush to Judgment was published.[6] The book became a number one best seller and spent 29 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.[7]

Lane questions, among other things, the Warren Commission conclusion that three shots were fired from the Texas School Book Depository, and focuses on the witnesses who had recounted seeing or hearing shots coming from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza. Lane questions whether Oswald was guilty of the murder of policeman J.D. Tippit shortly after the Kennedy murder. Lane also states that none of the Warren Commission firearm experts were able to duplicate Oswald's shooting feat.[8]

According to former KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin in his 1999 book The Sword and the Shield, the KGB helped finance Lane's research on Rush to Judgement without the author's knowledge.[9] The KGB allegedly used journalist Genrikh Borovik as a contact and provided Lane with $2000 for research and travel in 1964.[10][11] Mark Lane called the allegation "an outright lie" and wrote, "Neither the KGB nor any person or organization associated with it ever made any contribution to my work."[12]


Rush to Judgment
Directed byEmile de Antonio
Narrated byMark Lane
Release date
  • 1967 (1967)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States

In 1967, a documentary film based on Lane's book was directed by Emile de Antonio and hosted by Lane.[13][14] Some of the assassination witnesses who present their observations on-camera include Abraham Zapruder, James Tague, Charles Brehm, Mary Moorman, Jean Hill, Lee Bowers, Sam Holland, James Simmons, Richard Dodd, Jessie Price, Orville Nix, Patrick Dean, Napoleon Daniels, Nancy Hamilton, Joseph Johnson, Roy Jones, Acquilla Clemons, and Cecil McWatters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Essay: Autopsy on the Warren Commission". Time Magazine. September 16, 1966.
  2. ^ James N. Giglio (April 1992). "Oliver Stone's JFK in Historical Perspective". American Historical Association.
  3. ^ a b Cassidy, Claudi (May 23, 1966). "On the Aisle: Preview of Mark Lane's 'Rush to Judgment,' In Inquiry into the Evidence's Other Side". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 5. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Hoover, Bob (November 2, 2013). "The Next Page: The JFK assassination conspiracy circus". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Raksin, Alex (December 29, 1991). "Nonfiction". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Kiel, R. Andrew. J. Edgar Hoover. The Father of the Cold War. How His Obsession with Communism Led to the Warren Commission Coverup and Escalation of the Vietnam War, 2000, University Press of America, Lanham MD, ISBN 978-0-7618-1762-8.
  7. ^ name=Hawes Publications | url=, p.2 | url=
  8. ^ Bugliosi, p. 1005
  9. ^ Persico, Joseph E. (October 31, 1999). "Secrets From the Lubyanka: A historian examines an archive of Soviet files smuggled to the West by a former K.G.B. agent". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Bugliosi, Vincent. Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 2007, Norton, ISBN 978-0-393-04525-3 Pg. 162
  11. ^ Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Basic Books, 1999. Excerpted here. According to the book, Soviet journalists, including KGB agent Genrikh Borovik, met with Mark Lane to encourage him in his research.
  12. ^ Holland, Mark; Lane, Mark (2 March 2006). "November 22, 1963: You Are There. Much mail has come in on the subject of Max Holland's "The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy"". The Nation. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Rush to Judgment". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20.
  14. ^ Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Observer blog, 21 April 2011, From the Film Vaults: Rush to Judgment (includes full film embedded from