CALIFORNIA: Court of Last Resort

Capital punishment, said California's Governor Edmund G. ("Pat") Brown in a 1,500-word special message to the state legislature last week, is "a gross failure," primarily inflicted "upon the weak, the poor, the ignorant and against racial minorities. Beyond its horror and incivility, it has neither protected the innocent nor deterred the wicked." As he promised to do when he yielded to global clamor and put off for 60 days the execution of Kidnaper-Author Caryl Chessman last month (TIME, Feb. 29), Brown was asking the legislature to reconsider the state's death penalty—and, in so doing, to give him inferentially some...

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