Author: Wolfe (Burton H.)
Year: 1973
Publisher: Doubleday (New York)
Edition Details: 1st US edn.
Book Condition: Vg+/G+
ISBN: 0385051735
Price: 12.00
Hardback. This is the real life horror story of how nearly 700 human beings became stacked up in tiny death cells within American prisons, awaiting executions that were delayed up to 16yrs until at last the US Supreme Court freed all of them on June 29, 1972. Here is the first detailed account of the long, frequently heartbreaking struggle that led to the High Court's 5-4 ruling against the death penalty. The story, complicated by what often seemed a legal madhouse, unfolds in human terms through intimate personal glimpses of the men who made it happen : Tony Amsterdam, the Stanford University professor who was chiefly responsible for the Court's decision. Caryl Chessman, the convict-author who invented a kind of legal self-help that eventually was used by scores of condemned prisoners to beat the executioner. And many others who combined with a small legal team to tie up the nation's execution machinery for a decade in defiance of hundreds of hanging judges, juries, prosecutors, and legislators. The massively documented story that the author tells is wrapped around one of the most emotional issues dividing contemporary American society : punishment by death. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, slightly more than half the nation believed that capital punishment deterred crime. But, the supposed deterrent has been used almost exclusively against one segment of lawbreakers: the disenfranchised poor, especially the black poor. The intriguing question raised and answered in this book, is how 700 victims foiled the slight majority's attempt to make scapegoats of them by execution. Illus., Appendices, Selected Bibliog. 437pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. Browned edges, o/w Vg+ in frayed, worn and sunned G+ dw.


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