70 years ago today, America and the Allies stood as moral giants. Due Process and a public trial in Nuremberg were provided to Nazi war criminals. President Harry Truman appointed U.S Supreme Court Justice, Robert H. Jackson, as the chief prosecutor for the United States.
Jackson took leave from the Supreme Court during 1945-1946 in order to assemble the prosecution staff for the U.S. and to build the case against the Nazis. The trial procedures and rules of evidence which would govern the war crimes trials were established by the Allied powers.
The first and most famous of the Nuremberg trials prosecuted the most important living political and military leaders of the Third Reich. Not included were Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels, all of whom had committed suicide in the spring of 1945, well before the indictment was signed.
The Nuremberg trials elevated due process and the right to trial as universal rights essential to the free world. International criminal charges such as crimes against humanity and conspiracy to commit war crimes were first introduced at Nuremberg. Beyond its legal legacy, the Numberg trials amassed a public record for the ages of the horrific crimes, including the Holocaust, committed by the Nazis.