Part 4, Chapters 16–18 Summary

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Perry and Dick are scheduled to be executed on May 13, 1961, but are granted a stay of execution pending the outcome of an appeal for a new trial with different lawyers. Lowell Lee Andrews is awaiting a similar verdict. Perry and Dick barely speak to each other. Andrews frequently corrects Perry’s grammar, which irritates Perry because he saw himself as an expert on the English language. After one incident of being corrected by Andrews, Perry goes on a hunger strike. After not eating for five days, Perry is transferred to a state hospital where he is force-fed. Over the next nine weeks, Perry loses more than fifty pounds. Dick is not impressed even when it is reported that Perry is in a coma; he proclaims that Perry is faking it. Dick and Andrews become friends of a sort. Perry drifts in and out of consciousness, frequently dreaming of being a one-man show on the stage. The warden shows him a postcard from Perry’s father, who asks to visit Perry. Perry throws it away.

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After two years awaiting the appeal, only Perry, Dick, and Andrews are left on Death Row at Lansing. Mrs. Hickock visits monthly. She tells Dick that his father has died and she has lost the farm and is essentially homeless, living with one relative after another. Dick writes letters to multiple organizations, pleading for their assistance for a new trial. He claims that his attorneys were incompetent and biased because they knew the victims, as did all of the jurors and the judge. In the meantime, two more prisoners arrive on Death Row. These are two former soldiers who went on a...

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