Courts relied on three kinds of evidence: 1) confession, 2) testimony of two eyewitnesses to acts of witchcraft, or 3) spectral evidence (when the afflicted girls were having their fits, they would interact with an unseen assailant – the apparition of the witch tormenting them).
How did the courts work in the Salem witch trials?
Once the accused person was taken into custody, they were examined by two or more magistrates. … If the defendant was found guilty, the Court would pronounce the sentence. In the Salem Witch Trials, guilty defendants were sentenced to be hanged on a specified date.
How did the legal process change after the Salem witch trials?
The haphazard fashion in which the Salem witch trials were conducted contributed to changes in U.S. court procedures, including rights to legal representation and cross-examination of accusers as well as the presumption that one is innocent until proven guilty.
What were the punishments for the Salem witch trials?
Twenty people were eventually executed as witches, but contrary to popular belief, none of the condemned was burned at the stake. In accordance with English law, 19 of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials were instead taken to the infamous Gallows Hill to die by hanging.
When did witchcraft become legal in the United States?
In October 1692, the governor dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer, and in December 1692, the General Court passed An Act against Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Dealing with Evil and Wicked Spirits.
When was spectral evidence outlawed?
By October of 1692, with 20 people dead and many indicted people yet to be tried, Governor Phips intervened and ordered the court to stop using spectral evidence.
Why were the Salem Witch Trials unfair?
They believed that the illness was all caused by witchcraft. This only lead to false accusations, of those who were believed to be a witch. These types of accusations harmed many innocent people because of the reliance on authority, their hasty judgement, white and black thinking, labeling, and resisting to change.
When were witch trials outlawed?
2 c. 5) was a law passed by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1735 which made it a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft.
Witchcraft Act 1735.
|Royal assent||24 March 1736|
|Commencement||24 June 1736|
|Repealed||22 June 1951|
What type of crime was witchcraft?
In 1542 Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act which defined witchcraft as a crime punishable by death. It was repealed five years later, but restored by a new Act in 1562. A further law was passed in 1604 during the reign of James I who took a keen interest in demonology and even published a book on it.
When was the last recorded execution for witchcraft?
Some were herbalists or healers, practices opposed by church teachings, and some probably did practise dark arts, though most were innocent. The last execution for witchcraft in England was in 1684, when Alice Molland was hanged in Exeter. James I’s statute was repealed in 1736 by George II.
What were the Salem Witch Trials quizlet?
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of 20 people, most of them women.
Who was the first person accused of witchcraft?
In June 1692, the special Court of Oyer and Terminer [“to hear and to decide”] convened in Salem under Chief Justice William Stoughton to judge the accused. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more individuals than any other defendant.