EXTREMELY RARE CASE FILE CONTAINING NINE HAND-SIGNED ITEMS BY GENERAL BETTS REGARDING A MOTHER'S APPEAL TO GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER FOR CLEMENCY IN RESPONSE TO HER SON'S WWII DEATH SENTENCE
GENERAL EDWARD C BETTS (1890-1946) MULTIPLE-SIGNED REDACTED DEATH SENTENCE CASE FILE, signed nine times as "Ed C. Betts", "Ed C. B.", and "Betts"; all signed as Brigadier General, U.S.A., Theater Judge Advocate, various sizes 8 x 8, etc., by American West Point graduate, lawyer, Judge Advocate, Headquarters, European Theater of Operation where he served as legal advisor to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and at the time of this case he was making preparations for the trials of German war criminal at Nuremberg. General Betts died of a heart attack May 6, 1946, just a few days after the last date of one of these letters. He is buried at the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg. This case file contains three1945 redacted letters (in which all mention of the name and nationality of the mother and the son are removed) responding to the condemned son's mother all of which mention her correspondence to General Eisenhower, in part: "...The anguish you expressed in your letter over the tragic case of your son is most sympathetically understood...The action taken by military authorities in this theater has been in strict accordance with their obligations. Such duties are not undertaken lightly, nor performed without the most genuine feelings of regret for the ensuing consequences...." and in another letter, in part: "...Your telegram addressed to General Eisenhower in reference to the case of...has been referred to me by...has been tried by general court-martial, convicted of the crimes of desertion and murder, and sentenced to death. The record of trial in his case is now undergoing legal review at this headquarters...." and in the third letter, in part: "...General Eisenhower took deep personal interest in the tragic case of your son. Immediately prior to the date originally set for his execution, in order that no stone be left unturned, he directed a say of execution and ordered a new investigation, in the sincere hope that some circumstance might be revealed thereby which would justify clemency...The new investigation only served to confirm the findings of the court and there was no other course than to carry into execution the decisions already so carefully weighed...."; three 1946 redacted letters sent up the chain of command to General Thomas H. Green, General Thomas F. Bresnahan, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower; one typed note signed ("Having read the record of trial, I concur."); and two signed slips; a total of 9 signed items. This WWII case file provides an interesting example of the procedures used under military law to insure justice was served for the accused. This file contains nine hand-signed items all of which are in fine condition, some have been redacted to allow the selective disclosure of information while keeping other parts of the document secret, there is minor age toning, small creases, a few chip and edge tears.