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Published on Oct 13, 2008
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, appointed by President Truman to serve as United States Chief of Counsel to prosecute Nazi war criminals, delivers his opening statement to the four-nation International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg on November 21, 1945. Here are five segments of Jackson's speech, which is deemed a forensic masterpiece: (1) at the call of IMT President Lord Geoffrey Lawrence (UK), Jackson begins; defense attorneys sit in the background; (2) Jackson speaks, assisted by his secretary Elsie Douglas and his son and executive assistant, attorney William E. Jackson; the camera pans across the defense attorneys and then the 21 defendants; (3) as Jackson continues, the camera pans across UK chief prosecutor Hartley Shawcross and deputy David Maxwell Fyfe and then to the 8 judges on the bench, including U.S. judge Francis Biddle and U.S. alternate judge John J. Parker; (4) Jackson speaks and the defendants listen; (5) Jackson addresses the imperfection but sufficiency of the case that prosecutors will present. For more information on the trial and the complete text of Jackson's opening statement, visit www.roberthjackson.org.