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200 years later, a treason trial in Baltimore

At rehearsals Tuesday, from left, retired State Archivist Edward C Papenfuse plays defendant John Hodges, law professor Byron L. Warnken portrays defense attorney William Pinkney, and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein steps into the shoes of U.S. Attorney Elias Glenn. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

In the wake of the British burning of Washington and the end of the War of 1812, a Maryland lawyer and businessman who returned four British soldiers to the enemy stood on trial for treason in 1815. Almost 200 years later, local judges, attorneys and members of the legal community gathered to recreate the scene in which defense attorney William Pinkney delivered the closing argument that resulted in the jury’s acquittal of John Hodges.

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