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In the USSR, people convicted of treason were routinely stripped of their State decorations, even when they were honestly earned before the treason (e.g., Власов, Добробабин, Берия). The sentence also routinely included a confiscation of all personal property of such convicts.

What about other countries?

E.g., were Kanao Inouye's WW1 decorations revoked? (The 1st trial record does not indicate so).

(The rest of people in List of Allied traitors during World War 2 do not appear to have been decorated before their treason).

I am specifically interested in the Western countries of the 20th century, but I do not want to restrict the question to military decorations or military treasons. I am interested in the concept "this crime wipes out all previous merits".

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For starters you have the routine stripping of athletic medals for infractions of anti-doping tests, starting with Ben Johnson in 1988 I believe. – Pieter Geerkens Jan 31 '14 at 17:51
@PieterGeerkens: I don't think any athlete has ever been stripped of medals won without dope. E.g., a medal won in 1980 will not be taken away for "infractions of anti-doping tests" in 1988. – sds Jan 31 '14 at 17:57
@PieterGeerkens: he was stripped of all awards won under doping influence. This does not qualify as an example I am asking for. – sds Jan 31 '14 at 18:21
I'm not sure why athletic awards are even on the table when discussing treason. – Oldcat Jan 31 '14 at 21:33
@Michael: I have no sympathy for either Communists or Nazis. However, it is absurd to assert that the honors they received from their regimes were not deserved. At any rate, this discussion is not relevant to the question. – sds Feb 4 '14 at 17:23
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Victoria Cross

8 VC awards were forfeited for various crimes (theft, bigamy, desertion &c) until ...

... King George V said in 1920 that, no matter the crime committed by anyone on whom the VC has been conferred, the decoration should not be forfeited. Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wear his VC on the scaffold.

Thus no VCs has been forfeited since 1908.

Order of Canada

As of 2014, six people have been removed from the Order of Canada. However, Order of Canada appears to be more similar to an honorary society (such as an academy of sciences) than a military decoration (as it recognizes a "lifelong contributions" as opposed to "acts of valour", and thus future misdeeds matter more).


It appears that there are no examples of any of the following decorations revoked on the basis of the recipient's misdeeds:

However, a Silver Star has been revoked after a conviction for possession of child pornography (this episode could have been politically motivated).

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Huh? Sanders was Kerry supporter. Obama's administration was the one who decided on revoking the Silver Star. How is that possibly politically motivated? I'd buy that if it happened under Bush... but not 3 years into Obama years. – DVK Feb 9 '14 at 17:42

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