A Letter From The Publisher: Jan. 24, 1983

How well, or badly, the wheels of justice grind has long intrigued Staff Writer Kurt Andersen, who wrote this week's cover story on capital punishment. The son and grandson of lawyers, Andersen inherited an interest that he cultivated at Harvard by studying the history of rebellion. "Somehow," he says, "I am drawn to issues of crime and punishment. I seem to have a propensity for writing on death, disaster and dementia."

Indeed, within a month of joining TIME in 1981, Andersen found himself writing about the execution of Steven Judy, who had killed a woman and her three children. Subsequent assignments included...

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