Excerpts from Arguments in the Trial of Aaron Burr (August 1807)

Key arguments in the Burr trial, leading to Chief Justice Marshall's opinion of August 31, 1807, concerned two questions of law raised in a defense motion to end the presentation of prosecution evidence: (1) Whether, under the Constitution, a person can be convicted of treason who was not present when the war was levied, and (2) If presence during the time war is levied is not required, whether testimony can be received to charge a person with the overt acts of others before those overt acts as laid in the indictment are proved to the satisfaction of the court.

Motion of Aaron Burr to Arrest Prosectution Evidence (8/20/07)
Argument of William Wirt in Opposition to Motion (8/25/07)
Argument of George Hay in Opposition to Motion (8/26-27/07)
Argument of Charles Lee in Opposition to Motion (8/27/07)
Argument of Luther Martin in Support of Motion (8/28-29/07)

The Trial of Aaron Burr Homepage