DiscoverRadiolab Presents: More PerfectMr. Graham and the Reasonable Man
Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

Update: 2017-11-3061


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:

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, Tom Dreisbach, 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.


Comments (3)

Darrell Strickland

hands up don't shoot was based on a lie, and I have sneaking suspicion that mr. graham's case may've been as well.

Oct 1st

Tyler Mattox

Everytime Elie Mystal speaks on this show, I lose more and more respect for it. We dont listen to this show for one man's idiotic knee jerk, emotional reactions. In both this episode and thw hate debate I think he absolutely embarrasses himself and it makes me doubt anything said on this show when he is such a prominent contributor.

Aug 8th
Reply (1)
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Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man

WNYC Studios