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True Crime July 1992
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For those of you who keep an eye on the news, Tuesday, April 21st this year will be a date to remember. For that was the haunted face of Robert Alton Harris appeared on our television screens while the controversy over whether they should execute him or not raged. Would it constitute cruel or unusual punishment? That was the issue at stake – and the victim was the man on Death Row, kept on a knife-edge as he and the rest of the world waited to see which way the pendulum swung. The decision to go ahead with the execution brought frear to Death Rows all over America. The Robert Alton Harris story appears in full, continuing our harrowing series of death cell stories, and is followed by the case of Aaron Mitchell who, 25 years before Harris, was the last person executed in California. We also take you back to the early 50’s and still another appointment with death in San Quentin’s "little green room".
There is never anything funny about murder, so the likelihood of encountering a humorous story in True Crime is fairly remote. However, King Lynn’s mortgage murder is about a trial for murder which became a farce, owing to the cantankerous character who stood accussed. Despite the tragedy of the killing and the serious intent of the consequential proceedings, the story is sure to bring a smile of amusement on your lips.
When you read Murder in the New Forest we recommend that you adopt a stance of questioning in which the suspect was arrested. George Smith might well have been guilty of the crime for which he was convicted. But the evidence against him was no more conclusive than the evidence which wrongly convicted Stefan Kiszko 16 years ago – and the possiblity that someone else might have done the killing was never even considered.