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  • In U.S. law, this term refers to the crime of betraying one's country by levying war against it to overthrow the government or by giving assistance to its enemies in wartime. The Constitution requires the testimony of at least two witnesses to the same overt act (e.g., giving government secrets to other countries, espionage) or a confession in open court for conviction. According to congressional legislation, a traitor may be punished with death or imprisonment. Aaron Burr was tried for and acquitted of treason in 1807; there have been very few other treason prosecutions.


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