Caryl Chessman

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Chessman, Caryl (Whittier)

(1922–60) convict, author; born in St. Joseph, Mich. Convicted on 17 counts of kidnapping, robbery, and rape, he was sentenced to death in 1948. He managed to delay his execution for 12 years and wrote books against capital punishment, including Trial by Ordeal (1956). His articulate manner and the fact that he had never actually killed anyone led to an international protest against his execution.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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