The trials at Nuremberg were to convict those who were involved in the persecution and murder of the Jewish population. These crimes were called as war crimes, because they attacked the innocent, not those directly involved in the war. The killings were so big however, that there were too many defendants to try in court. Those who were most directly involved in the killing were given the harshest sentences, but there were a great many who received short sentences, or even none at all. Many of the defendants also pleaded that they were only following the rules of a greater authority. These trials were effective, but only to a certain extent. So many Jews were killed, and the world should have intervened much earlier than they did. This mass murder was planned out so well, and so many people were involved that it was impossible to try them all. A great number of people were simply set free, when they shouldn't have been.