A 2012 New York Times Notable Book. "A real-life detective story that reveals the drama behind the scenes of a great Supreme Court victory for human rights." (Linda Greenhouse)
No one could have predicted that the night of September 17, 1998, would be anything but routine in Houston, Texas. Even the call to police that a black man was "going crazy with a gun" was hardly unusual in this urban setting. Nobody could have imagined that the arrest of two men for a minor criminal offense would reverberate in American constitutional law, exposing a deep malignity in our judicial system and challenging the traditional conception of what makes a family. Indeed, when Harris County sheriff's deputies entered the second-floor apartment, there was no gun. Instead, they reported that they had walked in on John Lawrence and Tyron Garner having sex in Lawrence's bedroom.
So begins Dale Carpenter's "gripping and brilliantly researched" Flagrant Conduct, a work nine years in the making that transforms our understanding of what we thought we knew about Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2003 that invalidated America's sodomy laws. Drawing on dozens of interviews, Carpenter has taken on the "gargantuan" task of extracting the truth about the case, analyzing the claims of virtually every person involved.
A comprehensive report of the landmark gay rights ruling from 2003. It's told in a riveting style and the legalese is presented in an easy to understand form. This book also put the case in the appropriate historical and emotional context.
Initially purchased because I thought that reading about the legal history of the case would be interesting. The author spent too much time on the overall history of gay rights when I really thought it could have been covered more efficiently. The narrator was atrocious-unable to pronounce even the simplest legal words.