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Rebel and a CauseCaryl Chessman and the Politics of the Death Penalty in Postwar California, 1948-1974$
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Theodore Hamm

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224278

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224278.001.0001

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The Antithesis of Reform

The Antithesis of Reform

(p.11) Chapter One The Antithesis of Reform
Rebel and a Cause

Theodore Hamm

University of California Press

Movements against the death penalty have occurred regularly throughout the course of American history. At the beginning of the American Revolution, public officials began to criticize capital punishment, viewing it as antithetical to the new nation's republic deals. The shifting approaches to punishment during the three reform oriented eras reflected historic changes in popular explanations of criminal behavior. In relation to this matter, the public debate over Chessman's execution illustrated the specific influences shaping popular opposition to the death penalty in the postwar period.

Keywords:   American Revolution, Chessman, popular opposition, capital punishment, postwar period

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