Editor Shirley Dicks's son Jeff was involved in a robbery attempt that resulted in the death of a storekeeper. A bungled defence led to his conviction for murder; he has been on death row since 1979. Dicks has become bitterly aware that justice in America is dealt out not blindly, but selectively. "People have been sentenced to death not because they have been found to be uncontrollably violent but because they were hopelessly poor...They are the losers in an arbitrary lottery. You won't find a wealthy person on death row. A system like this does not enhance respect for human life; it cheapens and degrades it."