CALIFORNIA: The Ninth Date

Moments after the deathly pale figure moved for the last time, his head slumped on his chest, one of the associate wardens broke the silence in San Quentin's execution witness room, announced firmly: ''That's all, gentlemen."

The 60 witnesses, two-thirds of them newsmen, filed out to report that Caryl Chessman, sentenced to die twelve years ago for kidnaping for robbery with bodily harm, had kept his ninth appointment in San Quentin's gas chamber.

In the U.S., where Chessman's long battle of appeals was generally viewed as an unprecedented testing of the patience of justice, there was little emotional reaction. Abroad, he was...

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