CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Treason Isn’t Just a Crime—It’s a Sin of the Heart

In Dante's Inferno, Traitors Are Cast Into Deepest Hell for Breaking the Bonds of Love

If you’re looking to nail someone for treason these days, don’t talk to a lawyer. The answer you’ll get will be short and likely disappointing: It’s hard to convict someone of treason and chances are the actions you’re describing won’t qualify for the charge. But if what you’re really trying to express is an emotional response, you’re better off turning to 14th-century Italian literature, not the law.

Legally speaking, treason—at least in the United States—is a narrowly defined crime, and for good reason. Under the British crown, treason could include a …

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