Tortured by Self-Pity: The Sociopathic Judge Jay Bybee

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Of those in the dock at the Nuremberg War Tribunal, Franz Schlegelberger was considered the most sympathetic, writes historian Doug Linder. In fact, he was the model for the character of Ernst Janning, the penitent German jurist portrayed by the incomparable Burt Lancaster in Judgment at Nuremberg.

From 1931—1942, Judge Schlegelberger worked in the German Ministry of Justice, which was intended to be the institutional guardian of the rule of law. After the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, Schlegelberger made one tentative effort to restrain executive power: He objected to a decree retroactively imposing the death penalty on those blamed for the Reichstag Fire.

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