The Judicial System of the Salem Witch Trials

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The following paper will best explain the judicial system used during the Salem Witch Trials, a series of hearings over a witchcraft scare that took place from June through September of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The writer shall include a brief history of the events, explain the judicial system of the Trials, and give detail to what methods were used to determine fate of a victim. Additionally, the writer will explain how the Trials were based on false views that were not supported. The Trials began soon after a few young girls living in Salem began throwing unexplainable and spontaneous tantrums that consisted of sudden falling, screaming and crying in agony, and a loss of voice. After the girls had been questioned by their parents and the town’s judges and ministers to give an explanation for their demeanor, they were soon to hold three women responsible for acts of witchcraft. Witchcraft had been made a capital crime following the town’s establishment, which meant that the courts would press the alleged witches. Soon after, more girls began having episodes, which also meant that more were being accused, imprisoned, and killed. As the Trials moved on, more respected citizens were being punished, suspicions began to develop, and it was decided by the Boston pressure Governor Phips to no longer recognize spectral evidence, release those who were currently imprisoned, and end the Trials. The judicial system used during the Trials was rather simple and made up of five basic steps. First, someone would make an accusation about someone that he or she believed to be a witch to the Magistrate. Complaints were often made through someone else to pass the notice onto the Magistrate. Next, a warrant of arrest would be issued, the victim would be taken into examination, then if Magistrate feels that he or she is guilty, they would send the victim to jail and make them stand trial. Third, the circumstances along with evidence supporting or not supporting the case would...
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