Article 3, Section 3, Clauses 1 and 2
[Volume 4, Page 430]
An Act Declaring What Shall Be Treason, Laws of Virginia1776Hening 9:168
I. Whereas divers opinions may be what case shall be adjudged treason, and what not: Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That if a man do levy war against this commonwealth in the same, or be adherent to the enemies of the commonwealth within the same, giving to them aid and comfort in the commonwealth or elsewhere, and thereof be legally convicted of open deed by the evidence of two sufficient and lawful witnesses, or their own voluntary confession, the cases above rehearsed shall be judged treason, which extendeth to the commonwealth, and the person so convicted shall suffer death without benefit of clergy, and forfeit his lands and chattels to the commonwealth, saving to the widows of such offenders their dower in the lands.
II. Provided always, and it is enacted, That no such attainder shall work any corruption of blood.
III. And it is farther enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the governour, or in case of his death, inability, or necessary absence, the counsellor who acts as president, shall in no wise have or exercise a right of granting pardon to any person or persons convicted in manner aforesaid, but may suspend the execution until the meeting of the general assembly, who shall determine whether such person or persons are proper objects of mercy or not, and order accordingly.
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