Woman, 98, Loses Bid to Erase Atomic Spy Conviction

NEW YORK (AP) -

A 98-year-old woman lost her bid Thursday to persuade a judge to erase her 1950 conviction for conspiracy to obstruct justice in the run-up to the atomic spying trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Miriam Moskowitz sought this year to get a judge to reconsider her conviction and two-year sentence in light of new evidence that emerged in the last decade that the government had not turned over evidence to her attorneys.

But after hearing oral arguments Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that Moskowitz’s lawyers could not show that it would have changed her trial’s result.

The Rosenbergs were convicted of passing nuclear weapons secrets to the Soviet Union and were executed in 1953. Since then, decoded Soviet cables have appeared to confirm that Julius Rosenberg was a spy, but doubts have remained about Ethel.

After hearing the judge’s ruling, Moskowitz said: “Too bad.”