Why does Putnam want the people to be convicted of witchcraft?

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He wants them convicted so he can purchase their land.  According to the law if you are convicted of witch craft, not only will you be hanged but you will also forfeit your right to your property.  The property will then be sold.  Putnam is the riches man in Salem and can buy whatever land he wishes once it has been taken from its rightful owners.

Recall that Giles Corey presents a statement that alledges that Putnam has his daugther accuse people who have prime land.  Giles tells Danforth, after Putnam's daughter has accused George Jacobs of witchcraft, "If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeits up his property - that's law!  And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece.  This man is killing his neighbor's for their land!"

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