JUSTICE: The Chessman Affair

(See Cover)

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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!