Did the Rosenbergs receive a fair trial and was their execution consti
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“Did the Rosenbergs receive a fair trial, and was their execution constitutional?”
This question, in comparison to the research I have done, has convinced me that Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg should still be alive today.
In 1945 the Americans brought forth the nuclear age by dropping an atomic bomb
on Hiroshima, Japan, ending World War 2. The bomb killed 100,000 people. The
Americans rejoiced for they had the most powerful weapon on Earth, and as far as they
knew they were the only country with information on how to build it. However by 1949
the Russians had exploded their own atomic bomb. There had been a leak on how to
build it, in the United States secret information. In 1950 the FBI began an investigation
into whom had given the Russians information. Because of his belief in Communism,
Julius was fired from his job working for the United States. He eventually started a
business with David Greenglass, the younger brother of his wife Ethel. (David, 70-73)
One of the persons that was arrested was David Greenglass. He used to work at a
company that had given the U.S.A parts that were used in the creation of the bomb.
During his questioning Greenglass told the authorities that he had given information to
Julius Rosenberg, his sister’s (Ethel’s) husband. Immediately the Rosenbergs were
One of the things that makes this case so controversial is the fact that Julius and
Ethel were the first, and only Americans ever to be executed for espionage in The United
States. (Preston, 1334)
There wasn’t any written or physical proof to show that Julius and/or Ethel were
guilty, only the words of testimony from Greenglass and others. I for one believe that
Julius and Ethel’s execution was wrong.
One day you’re walking along and the police come, arrest you, take you
to the police station, and lock you up. You have no idea why this has happened for you
have not done anything wrong. Later the next day they tell you that you have been
arrested for the murder of “John Doe”. “Why Me?” you ask. “Your brother has given us
information that puts you at the scene of the crime.” they say. You can’t understand but
you figure everything will be worked out in court. You will explain to the judge that
there is better reason for your brother to be the murderer than you. You go to court, and
your brother is the only one to testify or show any evidence against you. No physical
evidence. No other witnesses. The jury is in deliberations for about one day. The next
day in court the judge tells you that you have been found guilty of the murder of
John Doe. The punishment “DEATH”. You now wait in a prison, your days counting
down, as your D-Day approaches. You find out your brother was also arrested for the
murder but took a plea bargain to escape prison. You die a few months later for nothing
that you did, and for nothing anyone has proved you had done.
How is that for fairness? This is what I
feel happened. I think to save himself from death, David Greenglass told the
authorities that Julius and Ethel were in on his espionage. The gruesome account of
Julius, and Ethel’s execution was printed in a newspaper the day after. Here is an excerpt:
…Julius at 35 years was first to go… …Guards quickly placed him in the
chair… …At 8:00 o’clock the first shock of 2,000 volts with it’s ten amperes, course
through his body. After two subsequent shocks his life ended at 8:06 ¾ PM…. … Ethel
Rosenberg at 37 years entered the death chamber only minutes after the body of her
husband was removed… …Her hair was close cropped to permit contact of an
electrode… … the first of three successive shocks was applied at 8:11 PM… … Mrs.
Rosenberg was pronounced dead at 8:16 PM…(Conklin, 1)
If anyone can prove to me that this was constitutional then go ahead. Even if they
were in on Greenglass’ espionaging acts they still should not have had the death
punishment. I feel that in their case Julius, and Ethel were not treated fairly, and the
justice system failed.
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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, David Greenglass, Ruth Greenglass, Michael Meeropol
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