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News Posted on March 3, 2017

Professor Larson Discusses Treason Law on Connecticut Public Radio

Professor Carlton Larson appeared as a guest on the Connecticut Public Radio program The Colin McEnroe Show in an hour-long segment devoted to treason.  Professor Larson explained the American law’s roots in England’s treason statute and noted that in most circumstances, in order to be prosecuted for treason, the accused would need to have been involved in supporting a war or armed insurrection against the United States. Other acts of subversion such as revealing state secrets typically would not qualify, he said.

“That’s what things like the Espionage Act are meant to deal with,” said Larson. “Even at the height of the Cold War, the Rosenbergs, who provided nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, couldn’t be executed for treason because we were not technically at war with the Soviet Union. But they could still be punished under provisions meant to deal with releasing sensitive information in ways that aren’t appropriate.”

Carlton Larson's research interests focus on constitutional law and legal history, with a strong emphasis on the 18th century.