Treason isn’t what it used to be

No matter which parliamentarians, if any, are exposed for sleeping with the enemy, the penalty for doing that has changed drastically.

It used to be death.

Indeed, Canada’s National Defence Act prescribed the death penalty for treason until 1999, although no military executions had been carried out since 1946. In the US, the last American convicted of treason and hanged in 1862 was William Bruce Mumford for tearing down a United States flag during the Civil War. And in Britain, the last person executed for treason was William Joyce, also known as Lord Haw-Haw. He was hanged in 1946 for his Nazi propaganda broadcasts in World War II.

But today, just as the meaning of treason has changed, so too has the punishment for it.

Spies and collaborators used to betray their countries for money, ideology or resentment.

Read on…

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