Thank-You from a Condemned Murderer
Bruce Callins to Harry A. Blackmun, 
Gift of Harry Blackmun, 1997 (232.2)
Shortly before his retirement in 1994, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Harry A. Blackmun issued a dissent that expressed his dissatisfaction
with the American system of capital punishment. In the case of
Callins v. Collins he refused to "continue to coddle the
Court's delusion that the desired level of fairness" had been achieved
in death-penalty cases. He declared: "I no longer shall tinker
with the machinery of death." The condemned criminal, Bruce Callins,
wrote this letter from death row to thank Blackmun for his action.
The State of Texas executed Callins three years later.