Letters, Apr. 4, 1960

Crime & Punishment

Sir:

I was much interested in your March 21 story on Caryl Chessman, but I believe that his considerable lack of charm and/or innocence has little to do with the case. It seems clear that in a civilized world, capital punishment must be abolished because: 1) there is no proof that it is a deterrent to crime, 2) there is increasing proof that insanity, if only the temporary variety, is always present in a major crime, 3) there is always the ghastly possibility of mistaken conviction, and 4) individuals and societies...

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