Analysis Of Irving R. Kaufman's Sentencing Speech

1550 Words Mar 23rd, 2015 7 Pages
“No one is innocent when his opponent is the judge.” -Lucan; Pharsalia
Section A: Plan of Investigation When Judge Irving R. Kaufman sentenced the Rosenbergs to death in the electric chair, it sparked controversy that has maintained the media’s attention even a half-century after its initial sentencing on April 5, 1951. Throughout the trial, Kaufman did not remain impartial in front of the jury. In his sentencing speech to the Rosenbergs, he made his opinion that the Rosenbergs committed a crime worse than death very clear, which creates the question: To what extent did Judge Irving R. Kaufman’s behavior during the Rosenberg/Sobell Trial influence the jury’s decision to prosecute the Rosenbergs? To determine the extent of his influence, the investigation will thoroughly examine Kaufman’s actions during the trial and their primary effect on the jury. The sources being evaluated for their origins, purpose, values, and limitations are Judgment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg by John Wexley and Ethel Rosenberg: Beyond the Myths by Ilene Philipson.
Word Count: 149
Section B: Summary of Evidence The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg started on March 6, 1951; she was convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage on March 29, 1951. Judge Irving Kaufman sentenced them to death in the electric chair on April 5, 1951 (Goldstein). The death penalty of both parties sparked outrage- many said it was unjust and cruel to orphan the Rosenberg’s two young sons (Radosh) and that there was not…
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