On what grounds was Jack Ruby given the death sentence? He did not commit premeditated murder. Does't the death sentence require that? That the person, in a cold calculating manner, adopts a plan to kill someone? Ruby's attorneys argued that he was insane. They didn't even call it temporary insanity. They said that insanity ran in his family, that his mother was insane and had to be committed.
And by the way, it was Dallas DA Henry Wade who prosecuted Ruby and asked for the death sentence.
So, why would "they" want a death sentence for Ruby? I can think of two reasons.
The first is: pure theater; to express their outrage that Ruby "took the law into his own hands" (and that's the expression that was often used, including in the Universal newsreel) because they wanted so much to try Oswald in a court of law, knowing that a jury would have convicted him and sentenced him to the same fate. What a crock. The fact is: they did NOT want to try Oswald. Remember: it was only the prosecution case that the public was hearing from the government and media. But, at a trial, he would have had a defense. And, he would have had a damn good lawyer. Mark Lane would have defended him- for nothing. And Mark Lane was the guy who won the one and only civil trial relating to the JFK assassination. So really, they were jumping for joy that they didn't have to try Oswald.
But, the second reason they wanted Ruby offed is because there were people in high places who knew the truth, that Ruby was framed, and he was also confused. But, what if he woke up one morning and said to himself, "Wait a second! I don't remember shooting Oswald. I only remember walking down that ramp to the cubbyhole and being pounced upon by police. So maybe that's all that happened."
So, they needed Ruby dead because Ruby was a ticking bomb, and the only way to deactivate him was to kill him. And be aware that his health only started deteriorating (and rapidly) when he was granted a new trial. Am I saying that they killed him? I think it's distinctly possible. I'm entirely open to the idea. Aren't you?
It's a big disappointment to me that his lawyers didn't catch on to what really happened. They should have because they had to ask him what happened, what he remembered, and he must have told them the same thing he told police: "I don't know. I just remember going down there. And then police started pouncing on me. I didn't know why, so I asked them, 'What are you doing? This is me. Jack Ruby. You know me." It's a darn shame that they didn't figure it out.
But really, they were grossly incompetent aside from that.
Look: the Dallas Police were acutely aware that Oswald's life was in danger that he could be attacked. They reportedly received dozens of threatening phone calls. It was even announced on the radio that they had great concern and that tremendous precautions were being taken. Then, whose fault was it that Jack Ruby could easily enter that garage by walking down the Main Street ramp? Why wasn't somebody at that ramp to stop him? Even if you accept the idea that Ruby did it (and I don't), it was the failure of the Dallas Police to properly secure the area that facilitated the commission of the crime.
That certainly should have resulted in some leniency towards Ruby. But furthermore: how come nobody urged Marina Oswald to sue the Dallas Police Department for the wrongful death of her husband? They were responsible for his safety and well being. They committed an egregious act of negligence when they failed to secure that area, and that resulted in his death. She should have sued them.
So, why didn't she? Well, civil lawsuits are fought over money. Nothing else. Just money. And they were getting to Marina in other ways. The public was sending her money. When Oswald's diary from Russia was suddenly found (the authenticity of which I seriously doubt) she was paid for it. I think it was $20,000 for a few scratches of paper. Do you realize what $20,000 in 1963 was worth? Many times more than it's worth today. The woman who wrote the book Marina and Lee, Priscilla Johnson McMillan, gave two-thirds of the profit from the book to Marina. And there was other money that went to Marina. Marina was suddenly like Dorothy in the Land of Oz, and her ruby slippers were to cooperate and tell the nice men what they wanted to hear.
I suspect there is a statue of limitations which has expired, but otherwise, I would encourage Oswald's daughters, Rachel and June, to sue the Dallas Police Department today for the wrongful death of their father.
But, come to think of it, Jack Ruby should have sued the Dallas Police as well. After all, he had no premeditated thought of killing Oswald. He didn't create the opportunity; they did. So, they could have saved him from himself if they had secured the place and kept him out. He was out of his mind. He was crazy. Wasn't it their obligation to keep the crazies out? If you let a crazy in, and he does something crazy, aren't you at least partly responsible?
I would like to read the complete transcript of the Ruby trial: every word that was spoken by every person involved. Does anyone know where I can find it? It's something that should be on the internet, word for word, and I mean everything the court reporter wrote down, but, for some reason, it isn't. And I hope to God I'm wrong about that. All I am finding is Jack Ruby's testimony to the Warren Commissioners. I want to know every word that was spoken at that trial.