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Interesting Criminal Law Cases: Witch Trials

Posted on Jan 18, 2016 by in Criminal Law |

In the past witchcraft was the most feared thing, people were superstitious and afraid of mythical creatures such as witches and warlocks. Even though there is no evidence that witchcraft and magic really existed, people were convicted and murdered if there was a slightest indication that they are using magic. Witchcraft was considered as communication with spirits, blasphemy and any other kind of unusual behavior, mental illness often had people executed because of witchcraft. Other than adult people, kids and animals were also executed if there was a suspicion that there were into some kind of sorcery.


When we speak of witches, first thing that comes to your mind is probably witches of Salem, or burning witches. The Salem witch trials that happened in 1692 consisted of numerous hearings and prosecutions. Executions of nearly twenty persons convicted of witchcraft were held at the end of this process, all but one woman were hanged. These twenty persons were mostly women. Religious extremism and false accusations led to death of many innocent people and knowing about history of criminal law and trials can help people to learn on their mistakes and never make mistakes like this again. Witch trials are inspiration for movies and TV shows nowadays, but it was a great tragedy in the past.

4288079d89bcf54023f2bc63889d9587When there was an indication that death or illness were caused by witchcraft, accuser complained to authorities which if there was a reasonable doubt brought alleged to interrogation. Next step was going to superior court where witnesses made their statements before the grand jury. Alleged ‘witches’ were convicted of afflicting with witchcraft or for making the pact with the devil. First in series of executions of Salem Witches was Bridget Bishop, she was convicted on June 2nd, 1692. and executed on June 10. After Bridget, five persons were executed on July 19th, another five on August 19th, and eight on September 22nd. Several women who were pregnant were also convicted but their sentence was never carried out or they were executed after the delivery.

For all of this ‘witchcraft’ behaviors there was some kind of medical explanation, majority of ‘witches’ were mentally ill, or drugged with an ingredient of LSD that you could often find in rye bread.

Salem Witch Trials | History Channel

In today’s world, if you find yourself under the influence of drugs, you may not be arrested for witchcraft, but you will certainly be arrested for using drugs or driving under the influence of the same. In that case, put an experienced more info right here
to work for you.

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