Speed Reads

clearing her name

98-year-old woman hopes to be exonerated from 1950s atomic conspiracy conviction

Miriam Moskowitz is 98 years old, and no longer afraid to let people know about her past.

In 1950, the New Jersey woman was accused of knowing that her boss and an associate who was a Soviet spy were planning to lie to a grand jury, NPR reports. Moskowitz said she never overheard any conversations between the two, and the self-confessed spy, Harry Gold, only claimed she listened in because he had been threatened with the death penalty.

Moskowitz never took the stand to defend herself because she didn't want to admit she had been having an affair with her married boss. She was sentenced to two years in prison and had to pay a $10,000 fine, but her life was never the same; terrified that someone would find out about her conviction, Moskowitz kept mostly to herself, never marrying or having children. More than 60 years later, Moskowitz has had a change of heart and is going public, saying that recently unsealed records will prove that she was framed.

Moskowitz will be in court when oral arguments start Thursday in Manhattan, and she's certain her name will be cleared. She said she felt compelled to come forward because she is "so fearful about the future of my country," and never wants to see another person go through what she did.