JUSTICE: The Chessman Affair

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Behind the bleak concrete walls of California's San Quentin state prison, a Death Row guard handed a brief note, signed by the warden, to the pale, heavy-browed prisoner in Cell 2455. "Dear Sir," it began.

"On this date I received Death Warrant in your case . . ." The presiding Superior Court judge, the note went on, had set the date for the prisoner's execution, a date seven weeks away: March 28, 1952.

But Death Row Prisoner Caryl Chessman still had a lot of life ahead of him. In the eight...

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