In this 1951 file photo, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are shown during their trial for espionage in New York. (AP/File)
A group of New Jersey, law students claim to have discovered bomb new evidence in one of the most notorious espionage cases of the 20th century, including an FBI document, they say that may indicate an innocent woman was executed.
The case is about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, American civilians executed in 1953 for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Since then evidence has appeared to confirm that Julius was a spy, but his wife’s role has long been disputed. Students from the Seton Hall University School of Law Center for Policy & Research took the case, and started from the beginning, said Professor Mark Denbeaux.
“I never wanted to re-litigate the case, the author of the report, Seton Hall, Professor and Director of the Center for Policy & Research Mark told Denbeaux FoxNews.com. “The point was to do what the law students have to learn to do: go back to the evidence and to find out what there is –and then made our way back and see how it developed.”
What they found was that Ethel Rosenberg may have been charged just to pressure a confession from her husband, a dramatic development that confirmed the old suspicion of Denbeaux, the father, the son of George Patton’s combat with the chaplain. The elder Denbeaux, who helped liberate two concentration camps, always believed that Ethel Rosenberg execution was tied to her religious beliefs.
“My father always assumes that the Rosenbergs would not have been executed if she is not Jewish,” said Denbeaux FoxNews.com. “If they are waspy Protestants, this wouldn’t have happened.”
The Seton Hall Law Center discovered an internal FBI memo dating 17 July 1950 determined that there is “insufficient evidence” to arrest Ethel Rosenberg, but that they can be used as “a lever against her husband” and to pressure him to confess. According to the report, additional documents from the FBI and the Department of Justice repeatedly note the absence of evidence, where Ethel in the plot.
The project has also discovered that in January 1951, an assistant attorney general at the height of a Parliamentary Commission that Julius Rosenberg was a hard nut to crack” and that the authorities needed to “seriously jeopardizing Ethel in order to make Julius to work together.” These officers of justice asked to develop evidence in the form of “constant” statements of witnesses, which ultimately led to Ethel’s execution, according to the students’ report.
The prosecutor told the lawmakers Julius Rosenberg was “the cornerstone to a lot of other potential espionage agents,” and that “if we can really break him, that he opens the gates and give us information that would lead to a lot of other people.” The Assistant Attorney-General, who allegedly informed the Committee that the “important” Julius “under the shadow of a death sentence,” which “is about the only thing that you can use as a lever on these people.”
The research concluded that the AMERICAN government’s case against Ethel Rosenberg was “basically non-existent.”
“When we started, all of us believed that Ethel could not run with so little evidence. By the end, we all realized that its implementation (and likely her conviction) was not the result of evidence, but the prosecution failed gamble against Julius,” researcher and co-author of the report Elizabeth Mancuso said in a statement. “The government’s manipulation of family relationships for the securing of a conviction is just as disturbing today as it must have 60 years ago.”
The Rosenbergs ‘ sons, who have long sought the names of parents and children, hope for a call from President Obama to the exonerating their mother in the last days of his term of office. They hope that the scientific report, give their effort a push.
“The report is in favour of the argument we have already more than 40 years and I am impressed by the works of the law students have done,” son Michael told Meeropol FoxNews.com.
Meeropol said that he and his brother, Robert, faith the government took their mother as “collateral damage.”
“The government took her as a hostage, and they did what the terrorists do –they kill the hostage,” Meeropol said.
Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked in a briefing about the status of the proclamation.
“I’m sure we’ll take a look,” Ernst said in a briefing, and that he was “not aware of the work that has been done until now” on the brothers ‘ request.