Letters to the Editor

July 27, 2014

Plagiarism is a major offense

Re "Montana senator's thesis presented others' work as his" (Nation/World, July 24): As a professor, I can tell you that plagiarism is no small matter. It is often just cause for academic dismissal. This is because it is theft, like laundering money or stealing a car or patenting someone else's invention. When someone benefits from plagiarism the way Sen. John Walsh has, that theft has grand monetary and social consequences that should be treated under the law as felonies.

If we can send a politician to jail for not living in the locale he represents, then we should send a man to jail for stealing the ideas of others for personal gain. At the very least, Walsh should be made to resign his office, return all the property he netted as a result of "his" master's thesis and have his degree voided. Anything less would tell our society that it is OK to steal the property of others.

-- Steve Cirrone, Sacramento

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