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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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Conclusion: 1974 and Beyond

Conclusion: 1974 and Beyond

(p.162) Conclusion: 1974 and Beyond
Rebel and a Cause

Theodore Hamm

University of California Press

Caryl Chessman's case left an instructive if not diverse legacy. No rehabilitative ideal could be endorsed easily by criminal justice activists, and prisoners, especially after the growing prisoners' movement of the late 1960s exposed its fundamental flaws. For the New Left in the Bay Area, the contradiction between official rhetoric and practice on liberal politics simply did the right thing. In connection with the death penalty, during the late 1990s, New Democrats continued to polish off the American welfare state, and usage of the death penalty was at its highest point in the nation's history.

Keywords:   New Democrats, death penalty, politics, criminal justice, prisoners' movement

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