BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT? The Original Trial of Caryl Chessman

Author: Kunstler (William M.)
Year: 1961
Publisher: Wm Morrow (New York)
First Edition
Edition Details: 1st US edn.
Book Condition: Vg/G
Price: 15.00
Hardback. An eminent legal expert's dramatic and authoritative account of the original Caryl Chessman trial. On May 8, 1948, a Superior Court jury of eleven women and one man was impaneled to hear the case of The People of the State of California versus Caryl Whittier Chessman. Three weeks later, after 30hours of deliberation, they found him guilty on three counts of kidnapping for the purpose of robbery - as well as 14 other crimes - and fixed his punishment at death. Except in Los Angeles where it enjoyed momentary notoriety, the trial went largely unnoticed in the nation's press. But before it ended - more than 12yrs later - the Queen of Belgium, Dr Albert Schweitzer, Pablo Casals, Aldous Huxley and the Vatican had joined millions of others throughout the world to protest the execution of a man who had, by his literary skills, succeeded in making himself a dramatic symbol in the perennial struggle against capital punishment. From nearly 2,000 pages of official trial transcript and hundreds of corrections which were added in the following years, the author has documented the dramatic, explosive, and often extraordinary proceedings which occurred in that small, cluttered courtroom in downtown Los Angeles' Hall of Justice. It was never his purpose to prove or disprove Chessman's guilt. It was, however, his definite concern to present objectively the evidence as it was received by the jury. Whether the jury was right in determining its verdict is now wholly an academic question. What was of lasting importance was whether the means of making that determination - the adversary method of trial - is relatively trustworthy. A reconsideration of that proposition may well be Caryl Whittier Chessman's only monument. Caryl Chessman was executed at San Quentin on May 2, 1960. Illus., Chronology and Index. 304pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. Sl. patchily faded covers, o/w Vg in frayed G. only dw.


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