This story comes from the second season of Radiolab’s spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe here.
On a fall afternoon in 1984, Dethorne Graham ran into a convenience store for a bottle of orange juice. Minutes later he was unconscious, injured, and in police handcuffs. In this episode, we explore a case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US.
The key voices:
- Dethorne Graham Jr., son of Dethorne Graham, appellant in Graham v. Connor
Edward G. (Woody) Connette, lawyer who represented Graham in the lower courts
Gerald Beaver, lawyer who represented Graham at the Supreme Court
Kelly McEvers, host of Embedded and All Things Considered
The key case:
- 1989: Graham v. Connor
Additional production for this episode by Dylan Keefe and Derek John; additional music by Matt Kielty and Nicolas Carter.
Special thanks to Cynthia Lee, Frank B. Aycock III, Josh Rosenkrantz, Leonard Feldman, and Ben Montgomery.
Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation.
Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.