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Secret Judgment based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
How many movies end like 'The People vs. Larry Flynt' with the Supreme Court saving the day when all else fails? What happens when the Court itself fails? Kenneth Kahn, a law librarian in Washington, D.C., provides a fascinating look into one of the darker episodes of the Supreme Court's history, the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Using primary source materials, Mr. Kahn looks beyond the doctrinaire left wing view of Julius Rosenberg as innocent victim and the right wing view that both Rosenbergs divulged crucial atomic secrets. What is exposed is a scheme by the FBI, the AEC and the prosecution, with the assistance of the trial judge Irving Kaufman, to force Julius to cooperate, by threatening both he and his wife with the electric chair. When Julius called their bluff, the government, rather than admit their machinations, executed the pair, knowing that Ethel was innocent and Julius, while guilty of espionage, had not divulged critical information. Even less well known is the part that the Supreme Court played. Two attorneys, Farmer and Marshall, who had not represented the Rosenbergs at trial, realized that they had been convicted under the wrong statute and that they had been illegally sentenced to death by the sole decision of the trial judge rather than the jury. No justice on the court comes out of this episode unblemished. Liberal 'hero' Douglas blocked review on cert. Chief Justice Vinson conspired with Attorney General Brownell to circumvent Douglas' abortive stay of execution. In an unprecedented violation of the Court's operating procedure Douglas' stay was overridden while the Court was out of session, allowing the Rosenberg's execution to go forward. A fascinating look at a little known episode in the infamous Rosenberg case!