National Affairs: Mercy! Mercy!

The Governor of Washington, the Governor of California and the Governor of Pennsylvania had something in common last week. Each was begged by a celebrated individual from far outside his State's boundaries to extend executive clemency to a prisoner of his State. The prisoners were a boy, an aging man and a political zealot. In one case, California's, the plea was publicly resented as an impudent intrusion. In the other two cases public opinion was chiefly favorable to the prisoner and his advocate from afar.

Boy. One night last August a peaked 12-year-old named Herbert Niccolls broke into a grocery store...

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