Show trial

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The term show trial refers to a highly publicised and politically-motivated trial, in which the verdict is predetermined by the controlling political regime. Examples include the trials of alleged Trotskyists and spies cartied out during the Great Purges of Stalin, and the trials of the so-called plotters following the July 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler. They existed as early as during the French Revolution, more infamously the Reign of Terror, with Thomas Paine briefly observing it.