Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: Caryl Chessman
Sweden and ChessmanDavid Stone, instructor at John Adams Junior High School, plans a trip to Europe this summer with another teacher. Not long ago he wrote a friendly letter to a newspaper in Sweden giving the date they would be there and expressing the hope they might meet interested persons for an exchange of information.
Stone has been shocked the last few days to receive three replies, all disturbingly striking the same note.
One, from a religious order, stated, "Sir: Why do you want to come to Sweden? You are representative of a country where a criminal must die eight or nine times. God allows a human being to die but once."
Another: "Sir: Come to Sweden by all means. Explain to us your judicial system. We are full of admiration for the procedure in the Chessman case. You surpass the Nazis and the Bolshies. Ten Swedish Mothers."
|March 23, 1960: The Caryl Chessman case has underscored the worldwide debate over capital punishment, the Gallup Poll says. Americans support state executions 51% to 36%, with 13% undecided, the poll found, a decline from 68% support in 1953. |