Statement Upon Sentencing
Citizens of this country
their fellow-countrymen can be under none of the delusions about the
of Soviet power that they might have been prior to World War II. The
of Russian terrorism is now self-evident. Idealism as a rational
. . .
I consider your crime
worse than murder.
Plain deliberate contemplated murder is dwarfed in magnitude by
with the crime you have committed. In committing the act of murder, the
criminal kills only his victim. The immediate family is brought to
and when justice is meted out the chapter is closed. But in your case,
I believe your conduct in putting into the hands of the Russians the
years before our best scientists predicted Russia would perfect the
has already caused, in my opinion, the Communist aggression in Korea,
the resultant casualties exceeding 50,000 and who knows but that
more of innocent people may pay the price of your treason. Indeed, by
betrayal you undoubtedly have altered the course of history to the
of our country.
No one can say that we do
in a constant state of tension. We have evidence of your treachery all
around us every day--for the civilian defense activities throughout the
nation are aimed at preparing us for an atom bomb attack. Nor can it be
said in mitigation of the offense that the power which set the
in motion and profited from it was not openly hostile to the United
at the time of the conspiracy. If this was your excuse the error of
ways in setting yourselves above our properly constituted authorities
the decision of those authorities not to share the information with
must now be obvious . . .
In the light of this, I
can only conclude
that the defendants entered into this most serious conspiracy against
country with full realization of its implications . . .
The statute of which the
at the bar stand convicted is clear. I have previously stated my view
the verdict of guilty was amply justified by the evidence. In the light
of the circumstances, I feel that I must pass such sentence upon the
in this diabolical conspiracy to destroy a God-fearing nation, which
demonstrate with finality that this nation's security must remain
that traffic in military secrets, whether promoted by slavish devotion
to a foreign ideology or by a desire for monetary gains must cease.
The evidence indicated
that Julius Rosenberg was the prime mover in this conspiracy. However,
let no mistake be made about the role which his wife, Ethel Rosenberg,
played in this conspiracy. Instead of deterring him from pursuing his
cause, she encouraged and assisted the cause. She was a mature
three years older than her husband and almost seven years older than
younger brother. She was a full-fledged partner in this crime.
Indeed the defendants
Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg placed their devotion to their cause above their own personal
safety and were conscious that they were sacrificing their own
should their misdeeds be detected--all of which did not deter them from
pursuing their course. Love for their cause dominated their lives--it
even greater than their love for their children."