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Thomas Putnam knew that if a landowner was convicted of witchcraft, he would be forced to sell his land at a very low price. Miller accuses Putnam of being too eager to take advantage of the people by accusing them of witchcraft and then trying to buy their land for much less than it was worth. That is why Giles Corey allowed himself to be crushed to death rather that admit his guilt. Corey know if he died before he had confessed or entered a plea of not guilty and was convicted, his land could not be taken and it would go to his family, instead of the state, which would sell it to people like Putnam.
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