February 16, 1943

Report Outline
Treason Cases in World War Ii
Elements of Treason
Law of Treason in United States
War Crime Prosecutions During 1942

Treason Cases in World War Ii

Eight persons have been convicted of treason to the United States since the American declarations of war in December, 1941. Four men have been sentenced to die as traitors; one man and three women have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. The eight convictions for treason are the first under federal procedure in 145 years. If the death sentences are upheld on final appeal, the executions will be the first for treason to the federal government in the history of the country.

Two other treason cases are now awaiting trial. In addition, one woman who confessed to misprision of treason (concealing knowledge of the crime) is serving a sentence of three years in prison, and one man, after a treason charge against him had resulted in acquittal, is under indictment for misprision.

All of the above cases, with one exception, are those of persons who assisted the eight Nazi saboteurs landed from submarines on the Long Island and Florida coasts in June, 1942. The remaining case is that of a Detroit citizen who harbored a Nazi war prisoner escaped from a Canadian prison camp. All of the convicted or accused persons were born in Germany, except the woman convicted of misprision, and she spent most of her childhood there. Those born in Germany had lived in the United States for periods varying from ten to twenty years and all but one were naturalized citizens.

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