ENTRAPPED: An Accused Homosexual Looks At American Justice by Edward Eugene Baskett

ENTRAPPED: An Accused Homosexual Looks At American Justice

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Back in 1971, the author was arrested on the charge of solicitation and lewd conduct by a policeman he had seen in a gay bar and later gave a ride to in his car. Unlike thousands of other homosexuals a year involved in this particular judicial charade, this obstinate, religious, and perhaps naive victim refused to plead guilty, and when he was convicted he decided to appeal--all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. And it was necessary (though the Court refused to review the case), for the decision was never reversed. The grounds for appeal--the vagueness cf both the statute and the terms ""lewd"" and ""dissolute,"" the violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments (freedom of speech, due process), the entrapment aspect--seem substantial enough to wipe this imprecise, capriciously prosecuted, and useless law off the books. Of course, why someone would spend $5,000 he doesn't possess to fight a $150 fine is another question, but then Thomas Paine and his compadres were once considered extremist nuts too.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1976
Publisher: Lawrence Hill