The cross-examination of Hermann Goering

With the anticipated trial of Saddam Hussein giving renewed currency to the Nuremberg trial, readers might be interested in the window Rocket Man and I found to look at the trial through in our article last year for Bench & Bar, the monthly publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association: “The Cross-Examination of Hermann Goering.”
The article tells the story of what is widely regarded as the worst cross-examination in history. Taking into account that the examination was conducted by one of the most prominent lawyers of the time (then-Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson) on the foremost surviving Nazi, while the lawyer held in his hand the most incriminating document known to history, it’s hard to understand how Goering got the better of Jackson. There’s a lesson to be learned that doesn’t have anything to do with trial skills.

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