A groundbreaking work that turns a “queer eye” on the criminal legal system
Drawing on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy, Queer (In)Justice is a searing examination of queer experiences--as "suspects," defendants, prisoners, and survivors of crime. The authors unpack queer criminal archetypes--like "gleeful gay killers," "lethal lesbians," "disease spreaders," and "deceptive gender benders"--to illustrate the punishment of queer expression, regardless of whether a crime was ever committed. Tracing stories from the streets to the bench to behind prison bars, the authors prove that the policing of sex and gender both bolsters and reinforces racial and gender inequalities. A groundbreaking work that turns a "queer eye" on the criminal legal system, Queer (In)Justice illuminates and challenges the many ways in which queer lives are criminalized, policed, and punished.
The U.S. justice system is severely flawed and its treatment of queer people is representative of its brokenness, argue the authors of the most recent entry in the Queer Action/Queer Ideas series. In a call to action to readers to aid in dismantling the violence endemic to policing and punishment systems, the authors present a history of the criminalization of homosexuality and gender nonconformity, from 1513, when Balboa condemning gay indigenous people to be ripped apart by his hunting dogs, to the turn-of-the-millennium Michigan state troopers' decade-long "bag a fag" operation targeting truck stops. Discussions include the creation of queer criminal archetypes (e.g., Leopold and Loeb), representation of queer individuals as criminals in media (the murderous transsexuals Norman Bates and Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb), the treatment of queers in criminal courts, prisons as queer spaces, the inadequacy of legal prosecution of violence against LGBT people, and the groups currently working to address all of these issues. While the authors' knowledge of their subject is encyclopedic and their mission and advocacy admirable, the heavily academic tone and organization might prevent this book from finding a wider readership.