June 19 - 1953 - The Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
The case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg was not great when it was argued in 1951. Based on the testimony of Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, both Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage for passing on scientific secrets to Soviet agents. The judge in the case, Irving Kaufman, then sentenced the Rosenbergs to death for treason. They would be the only spies given such a sentence in the Cold War, despite the fact the trail that led to the Rosenbergs included a number of other atomic spies, including David Greenglass. Committees sprung up to exonerate Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, or at least get their sentences commuted. Despite this, they were executed at the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. In the years after that, various people kept the fight to clear their names. Then, after the fall of Communism, decoded Soviet messages were released, and the evidence all said that Julius Rosenberg was, in fact, a well-developed Soviet agent. His former KGB handler would even admit in the 21st century that he got the information from Julius Rosenberg. That doesn't change the fact that the prosecution of the case against the Rosenbergs was highly problematic.