Fatal Error: The Miscarriage of Justice That Sealed the Rosenbergs' Fate

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9780684190594: Fatal Error: The Miscarriage of Justice That Sealed the Rosenbergs' Fate

Reviews the human, judicial, and legal errors made in the course of the Rosenbergs' trial that precluded the possibility of a fair trial and explains how their prosecution under the wrong statute sealed their fate

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From Publishers Weekly:

Just days before Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were electrocuted, their lawyers obtained a stay of execution. Because the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 states that the death penalty must be recommended by a jury, the Rosenbergs' defense counsel, at the last minute, argued before the Supreme Court that the scheduled executions were illegal. With McCarthyist sentiments raging, the Court rejected their motion. In a totally fresh look at the Rosenberg case, Sharlitt, editorial chairman of the Harvard Crimson , convincingly argues that the highest court of the U.S. acted in a highly politicized way in its rush to have the Rosenbergs executed. He cites grave procedural improprieties, and charges that an internal vendetta against maverick Justice William O. Douglas helped seal the convicted conspirators' doom. He also argues that the death sentence was inappropriate, since convicted Communist spy Klaus Fuchs had already given the Russians vital atomic secrets, making the Rosenbergs' alleged leaks minor scientific redundancies--a point never argued by the couple's lawyers at their trial. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Sharlitt, a lawyer and editorial chairman of The Harvard Crimson , presents a controversial re-examination of the Rosenberg execution. He argues that the U.S. government used the wrong law and engaged in unconscionable acts to permit an illegal execution. Sharlitt focuses upon U.S. Supreme Court justices' activities and other legal maneuvers and promotes a controversial claim that there was collusion between Attorney General Brownwell and Chief Justice Vinson that prevented Justice Douglas from delaying the execution. Sharlitt's personal and legal criticism is harsher than that found in Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton's The Rosenberg File ( LJ 8/83). Sharlitt offers a disturbing judgment of the U.S. legal system in highly political cases. His work merits attention.
- Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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