The Law: Andrew Mallory, R.I.P.

One of the sad ironies of justice is that noble legal principles sometimes derive from ignoble lives. So it was with Andrew Mallory, a 19-year-old drifter from South Carolina, who was arrested in Washington in 1954 on a charge of choking and raping a 38-year-old woman while she was doing her laundry. The police interrogated him for seven hours and got him to confess. The trial was delayed a year because of doubt that Mallory could understand the proceedings against him, but he was eventually sentenced to the electric chair. "May God have mercy on your soul," said the judge.

Two years...

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