Justice and Injustice in 1950s America
Justice and Injustice in 1950s America
The realization of fairness and justice in the American community has been a long struggle since the nation gained its independence in the late 18th century. Segregation based on race, color, beliefs, political orientation, and nationality of origin were among the common practices in the mid 1900s even long after independence and ratification of the American constitution. There are many people whose influence during the 1950s remains outstanding up to date.
One of these is the key players during the case trail, conviction, and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. According to the available information on the case, the execution of the couple was significantly driven by the influence of the espionage practice propagandas which were widely spread by Senator Joseph McCarthy. This essay is an explanation of the influence of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and the role of Roy Cohn (chief counsel) and Senator Joseph McCarthy during and after the case.
The arrest, prosecution, conviction, and later execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1953 for espionage brought into question the effectiveness of the American criminal justice system during the 1950s. According to available information, the claims connecting Ethel and Julius Rosenberg with espionage spy activities to the Soviet Union remained to be an issue of controversy among the Americans. It is rightly claimed that the speeded conviction of the couple were a direct result of the economic and supremacy rivalry between the soviet union and the American nation due to the cold war.
The case brought into light the need for improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system to reflect the underlying provisions of the American constitution. It is claimed that although Julius Rosenberg’s involvement in the purported spy activities have not been fully qualified, most of his well identified associates like David Greenglass and Morton Sobell never received such harsh sentence. The charges brought against Ethel Rosenberg were evidently a fabrication by the key players in the case to force Julius Rosenberg into admitting and naming his associates.
The fact that she assisted in the spying activities were indeed confirmed illogical clearly from the case testimony that was given by the wife of David Greenglass. Despite this, later interviews with both David Greenglass and Morton Sobell have clearly proved her innocence in the whole incidence. David Greenglass particularly confirmed that his wife is the one who assisted Julius with the atomic bomb sketches but not Ethel. Another commonly claimed reason for the conviction of the couple is their affiliation to the communist party of the time.
Therefore, the case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg was influential in the 1950s as it signified the impact of the cold war on the liberty and equality of the American citizens before the law. The couple was denied their constitutional right to a fair and just trail simply because of their association with communism which was perceived as an enemy of the American nation. However, their execution no doubt set a new phase for the streamlining of the political and criminal justice conducts in our nation.
Roy Cohn (chief counsel) and Senator Joseph McCarthy were a source of bad social influence in the American community during the 1950s. Senator Joseph McCarthy was widely known for his fight against communism in the community. However, in his endeavors, McCarthy engaged in propagandas about espionage activities being conducted by members of the communist party. The popularity of McCarthy in the 1950s is closely attributed to his condemnation of the government for respecting the right of expression for its citizens who were in support of a communism form of government.
The conviction of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg marked a strong step in his war against communism as he used this to intensify his witch-hand and threatening of communist members. This had the implication that McCarthy was out to mitigate the respect of the right to expression and free association of some minorities in the American community. Since his main target was the communist advocates, he is no doubt a negative influence who promoted segregation practices in the American community during the 1950s.
On the other side, Roy Cohn was a driving force to the conviction of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Being the chief counsel, Roy is believed to have had influenced the appointment of Saypol and Judge Irving Kaufman into the case. Information from his autobiography indicates that Roy was the driving force behind the unfair conviction of the Rosenbergs. In the biography, he claims that he personally recommended the death penalty verdict to Judge Kaufman. Such claims signify Roy as an example of the misconduct in the criminal justice system during the 1950s.
He personally examined David Greenglass on the case and had enough information that Ethel charges were just but a fabrication. Therefore, the espionage case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg was influence in portraying the anti-civil rights practices that were eminent in the 1950s. although Roy Cohn and McCarthy gained popularity from the conviction, the innocence of the couple remain a negative blow to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in executing justices to all regardless of their political affiliation.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 October 2016
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