In Cold Blood

by: Truman Capote

The Corner: 2 of 2

Summary The Corner: 2 of 2


The high society of Garden City comes to the courtroom to hear the summations of the case. Judge Tate is famous for his addresses to the jury. He calls for the death penalty, and they return it. He had asked the jury not to be "chicken-hearted," and as the two prisoners leave the courtroom, Perry says to Dick, "No chicken-hearted jurors, they," and they both laugh out loud.

In the corner of Lansing Penitentiary is a small enclosure, Death Row. It is known as "the Corner." Along with Dick and Perry, there are three prisoners. One is the famous Lowell Lee Andrews, a young biology student who slaughtered his family and then confessed. He is certifiably schizophrenic, and a book arguing against the M'Naghten Rule was based on him.

Dick passes the time smoking and reading erotic novels and law books. He constantly writes to various organizations requesting help with appeals. Meanwhile Perry tries to starve himself to death. Then--upon receiving a letter from his father--decides he wants to live. Two years of postponed execution dates fly by.

The prisoners are eventually joined by George York and James Latham, two AWOL (absent without leave) soldiers--teenagers who went on a killing spree across the country having decided that they hated life.

One of Dick's letters works. A representative of the Kansas bar association, a man named Shultz, takes up the case. A hearing is held, claiming that the jury was prejudiced, that the state-appointed defense did not try hard enough, and that Judge Tate was biased. But Tate, the lawyers, and the jury quickly and fiercely dispel any doubt that Dick and Perry had a fair trial.

Talking to a journalist who is periodically allowed to visit, Dick describes the night Andrews is executed. Dick liked Andrews, but Andrews annoyed Perry because he was very educated and was constantly correcting Perry's speech, as Perry once corrected Dick's. Dick speaks about how he likes the other prisoners and about how he has tried to get along with Perry, whom he thinks is always jealous and two-faced. Dick says that he is not against the death penalty, for he understands the impulse for revenge.