Caryl Chessman — Convicted at age 27 under California’s “Little Lindbergh” law, Chessman spent 12 years in San Quentin Prison on Death Row. Ignoring the advice of the judge, he acted as his own counsel. Following his conviction, Chessman wrote his first book, “Cell 2455,” which became a best-seller and a Columbia Pictures film.
Edmund G. “Pat" Brown — Brown was elected governor of California in 1958, after serving as San Francisco District Attorney and Attorney General of California. Chessman’s plea for clemency in October 1959 began a six-month chain of events that proved to be a defining moment in Brown’s political career.
Jerry Brown — Pat and Bernice Brown’s only son, Jerry was in the process of abandoning his studies at a Jesuit seminary just as the fate of Caryl Chessman reached the boiling point.
Bernice Brown — The no-nonsense First Lady of California.
Kathleen Brown — The last of the Brown daughters still living at home in the governor’s mansion. When her father is away from his study, Kathleen sneaks in and reads his clemency briefing books.