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FORUM LIST   »   JURY FINDS MARY PARSONS NOT GUILTY OF WITCHCRAFT   »   Why did the witchcraft trials cease?
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Author Why did the witchcraft trials cease?

Dido
Joined: Dec 2004
May 16, 2005 08:24

"In 1693 the madness ended. There would be no more convictions and executions for witchcraft in New England."

Is this because it was deemed unlawful to formally, in court of law, press charges for witchcraft?


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LizNel
Joined: May 2005
May 27, 2005 07:27

The main reason the convictions ended, though not all trials, is because spectral evidence was no longer permitted in court. The convictions during 17th century trials, especially the Salem witch trials, were based on this type of fantastic (literally) testimony.

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LizNel


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Dido
Joined: Dec 2004
Jun 01, 2005 06:55

Thank you. That's a very interesting and important legal development!


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Ghostrider
Joined: Jul 2005
Jul 25, 2005 17:31

Could also be that the Governor's good wife was accused by the young (but diluded) young ladies.

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Ghostrider


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Botolph
Joined: May 2008
May 13, 2008 04:21

The true end to the trials of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, however, came on October 3, 1692 when Increase Mather, father of Cotton Mather, preached a sermon that was soon published as Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men. Condemning without qualification the spectral evidence upon which several cases had relied, Increase Mather declared that "It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one innocent person should be condemned" (Boyer and Nissenbaum 10).

Increase Mather was the first Harvard grad to become "President" of Harvard College.


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