Dm G In the state of Illinois 'bout nine years ago Dm C Bb A A cold blooded killer he went against the law Dm G He killed a factory guard when his robbery did fail Dm C G And they caught him and they threw him in the jail. He lay there in his cell locked up with his hate Not many men knew of him and less cared for his fate. And he knew no peace of mind when his trial was comin' by The judge said, "You are guilty you must die." Bb F But Paul Crump is alive today C F He's a-sittin' in a cell, he's got somethin' to say Dm G Every man has got something to give C Am And if a man can change, then a man should live. They sent him to Cook County Jail, a jail known far and wide Where pity was a stranger and brave men often cry. They locked him in the death row to count the days before To the day they came a knockin' at his door. But another warden came along, Jack Johnson was his name; He knew how prison living could drive a man to shame. He had no need of pistols in a solitary cell But a word of trust would help him just as well But Paul Crump is alive today He's a-sittin' in a cell, he's got somethin' to say Every man has got something to give And if a man can change, then a man should live. Between the warden and the convict a friendship slowly grew And one learned from the other that a man can live anew. Then the warden called the convict, "You must leave the devil's plan "The time has come for you to be a man." Then the convict found religion and he started him to learn He wrote himself a novel called _Burn Killer Burn_. And as his dying day grew near, to the warden he did cry "You must pull the switch and I must die." But Paul Crump is alive today He's a-sittin' in a cell, he's got somethin' to say Every man has got something to give And if a man can change, then a man should live. It was up to Governor Kerner to keep him from the grave Was rehabilitation a reason to be saved? The hour was comin' closer, the word was spread around A new and better answer must be found. Well the electric chair was cheated, the convict didn't pay. A new concept of justice was born and raised that day. Now throughout this peaceful land there are others set to die What better time than now to question why? But Paul Crump is alive today He's a-sittin' in a cell, he's got somethin' to say Every man has got something to give And if a man can change, then a man should live.
dave cohen <email@example.com> says:
in 1953 paul crump and four accomplices robbed a food packing plant... during the escape crump shot and killed a security guard (who left a widow and four children). crump was caught, convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair. while in prison he wrote a novel "burn, killer, burn" [is this book available?] and his cause was taken up by many people, including billy graham mahalia jackson, as well as lawyers elmer gertz and louis nizer.
in 1962 illinois gov. otto kerner commuted his sentence to life without parole (199 years... a sentence even george burns r.i.p. would be unlikely to outlive)... one of the only cases on record for a death sentence to have been commutted because the prisoner was "rehabilitated"
crump was paroled in February of 1993 at the age of 62, it had taken 17 years since gov. walker removed the prohibition against paroling him.
David Fleiss supplies this:
Paul Crump, Killer Who Wrote Novel, Dies at 72Chords supplied by Danny Korman Last modified 30 Nov 02 by trent
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO, Oct. 16 2002 -- Paul Crump, a former death row inmate who gained international notoriety and parole after writing "Burn, Killer, Burn," a novel about a murderer who commits suicide rather than be executed, died on Friday at the Chester Mental Health Center, where he had been held since 2000. He was 72.
The cause was pneumonia and lung cancer, his sister, Gwendolyn Jones, said.
Mr. Crump served 39 years in prison for killing a security guard in the armed robbery of a Chicago meatpacking plant in 1953. His four accomplices received prison sentences, but Mr. Crump was sentenced to die in the electric chair and had 15 execution dates before the sentence was changed to 119 years by Gov. Otto Kerner. He was paroled in 1993.
He returned to prison after being convicted of harassing a family member and violating an order of protection.
While serving his first sentence, Mr. Crump, inspired by a visit from the writer Nelson Algren, began reading classic literature and wrote the novel, which was published in 1962.
Those who backed Mr. Crump's efforts for parole, including the Rev. Billy Graham and the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, viewed the book as proof that he had been rehabilitated. Mr. Crump was also the subject of a documentary by William Friedkin, director of "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection."