Danforth's Witch Hunt, Is it Justified?
(An Essay on the Crucible)
I write in response to your column regarding Judge Danforth's actions during the witch trials in Salem. Surprisingly, you praised Judge Danforth for his "impartiality and tact" during this tragic set of trials. You could not be farther from the truth. Judge Danforth abused his judicial power, throughout the trials, to the fullest of his abilities. His abuses range from berating and coercing witness into saying what he wants them go, to blatantly ignoring testimony that refuted the accusers. He presides over his courtroom as if he has divine right. Judges are supposed to find truth, not invent it. When Mary Warren confessed to Danforth that she, along with the other accusers were sporting, he refused to believe her. To think. that he would obviously ignore her is just beyond my comprehension. he did this simply to save face. To listen to Mary and admit the court system had been wrong was not a choice. Because of this and many other miscalculations on Danforth's part numerous people lost their lives.
In addition to this, Judge Danforth has chose, very biasedly, what to admit as evidence. He used that power whenever he sought fit. When Giles Corey lacks the evidence to prove that Thomas Putnam hath prompted his daughter to falsely cry witchery on George Jacobs, Danforth dismisses the claim. Why you say? The lack of tangible evidence, yet when the young harlots claimed that invisible spirits of Salem community members attacked them, Danforth used it as evidence, that proved to be damning. Hypocrisy, like this, in the judicial system is inexcusable.
Lastly, Judge Danforth hath condemned people before they were allowed trial. The accused witches were given the choice, confess or hang. This is condemnation ultimately. Either way, their decision has no good outcome. If they confess to witchery they will be blackballed from the community and shunned, if they refuse to confess,...
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