Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius were tried, convicted and, in 1953, executed for espionage. Historians have argued about it ever since. With the recent release of grand jury transcripts and a new admission from one of the other people convicted with them, the evidence used to convict Ethel seems to be, at best, tainted (though Julius looks as guilty as the government said he was). Ethel was convicted based on a late admission by her brother that she had transcribed his notes for him, an admission contradicted by her sister-in-law's grand jury testimony. Prosecutors admit that they hoped that by threatening to sentence Ethel to death, they had hoped to convince Julius to implicate other spies. But whatever information Julius might have had, he took to his grave and prosecutors never relented on Ethel's sentence. Sobell says now, "She knew what he was doing, but what was she guilty of? Of being Julius's wife." [New York Times]
Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius were tried, convicted and, in 1953, executed for espionage.