J & E Rosenberg — the First or the Only?

I’ve found some sources that say Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were the only civilians ever executed for treason in the US. Other sources say they were the first civilians, implying there have been other since.

Does anyone know which is correct?

Believe it or not, I need an answer fast.


Weren’t some people executed for the murder of Mr. Lincoln ?

This Wiki page says neither first nor only - though they appear to qualify as last.

Others include:

It does appear from Xema’s list, though, that the Rosenbergs were the first and, to date, only people convicted of treason under civilian federal law. John Brown and his supporters were tried for treason against a state, and the others were tried by military tribunals.

Strictly speaking, the Rosenbergs were convicted of (and executed for) espionage, not treason.

Well, they were executed publicly. Meaning they had a trial and lots of publicity.

But how many people are executed by the “Black Ops” part of any government? Not just the U.S. gov. But any modern gov. Seems to me lots of murders take place by most any govt that wants to make someone disappear because they are too embarassing to allow to live and the publicity surrounding a trial would be even more embarassing. It’s easier and quieter just to make them disappear.

Hollywood would have us believe this is a very common practice.

So, when you ask how many civilians were executed for treason, do you include secret executions? Or just public ones?

And if you do include secret ones, how many of those do you think really do take place?

If I was the head of a modern government, I would have all the requisite manpower, expertise and equipment to make people disappear and not get caught.

After all, an individual only has a very limited amount of resources and experience to make this sort of thing happen. But if it’s true that most governments do secret executions, they’ve been doing them for many years and have a wealth of experience how to do them and not get caught.

Personally, I have no idea if this actually happens like Hollywood would have us believe. But I’d sure like to know if anyone here has any opinions that are based on anything more than just guesses.

Lazlo. Since we’re in General Questions, let’s stick to answering the OP.

Bringing up theoretical things is interesting, but not relavent to the OP,

If you want to start your own thread about such, feel free.

samclem, moderator

Public ones.

It’s quite a stretch to say that a hypothetical secret murder represents an execution for treason. In a country with a functioning legal system, you aren’t guilty of treason until prosecuted and convicted by a court.

For an analogy, suppose a drunk driver killed Fred’s daughter, so Fred kills the drunk driver. Is that driver now counted among those who were “executed for murder”?
ETA: Posted before seeing samclem’s post.