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  • Pat Brown too has faded into history, remembered, if at all, for indecision (to which his son reportedly contributed) in the Caryl Chessman execution and for humorous malapropism ( "This is the greatest disaster since my election.")


  • • Caryl Chessman was described as the first criminal in the US to be sentenced to death without murdering anyone.

    Corrections and clarifications

  • As I waited for the news of Troy Davis' fate, my thoughts kept returning to that day in 1960 when we Berkeley students picketed the California governor's office in pleading for a stay in the execution of convicted rapist Caryl Chessman, who was never accused of murder.

    Robert Scheer: Murder Is Good Politics, Bad Justice

  • And Chessman had actually written a number of books when he was on death row.

    Women Who Dared - Rebecca Young on PATH TO ACTIVISM

  • Time constrictions forced me to punch out a blog post rather than really think it out... but then again there are so many angles to the Chessman case that I may have bit off more than I could chew.

    Is there someone watching us?

  • Thus, Chessman, by allegedly dragging a victim from her car to a spot removed from there for the purposes of rape, was technically in violation of that law and had then to pay with his life.

    Is there someone watching us?

  • With respect to the Chessman and Kennedy cases, the key is to point out that it is improper for the state to take the life of a defendant who did not take the life of his or her victim, even though there is little doubt that Chessman and Kennedy are horrible criminals who should be punished by long and possibly life long incarcerations for their crimes.

    Is there someone watching us?

  • A punk and petty criminal who spent the majority of his adult life behind bars, Chessman was arrested while on parole in 1948 for being "the Red Light Bandit" of Los Angeles and Pasadena, a lover's lane predator who surprised parking couples by pretending to be a cop a red bandanna tied over an automobile search light stood in for an LAPD prowl car's cherry and sexually assaulting young women.

    Is there someone watching us?

  • While Chessman was leapfrogging from one death sentence to another (a liberal translation of "the Little Lindbergh Law," which made harming a kidnap victim a capital offense, got Chessman his appointment with San Quentin's "Time Machine" when it was determined that he had dragged one victim a short distance from her car to another location), he wrote three best-selling nonfiction books related to his case (as well as one novel).

    Is there someone watching us?

  • Chessman was arrogant to boot and defended himself at his original trial.

    Is there someone watching us?


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