Name Date Course Section/# Judicial Sentiment as a Function of 17th Century Norms It is without question that the world view and opinions/religious beliefs of a jury have strong implications for the ways in which justice will be carried out…
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Regardless of this fact, it is the responsibility of the historian/researcher to accurately depict the situation and not give way to the temptation to only relate the most interesting/salacious aspects of the story due to the fact that these do not help to give the full story and only emphasize the beliefs and actions of those with the most divergent views among the culture/group in question. Although the trials have been mythified and turned into a cultural phenomenon, the fact remains that even though the number of executions were low and the incident was isolated, the prevailing beliefs of that time with relation to how the settlers/Puritan viewed the world in which they lived worked to have a profound effect on how justice was carried out with relation to those supposedly involved in some form or other of conjuring or witchcraft. From the court data as well as the other primary and secondary data that can be analyzed, it is clear that many factors greatly impeded the case against Marea as it relates to her trial for murder of her own newborn infant. As such, the purpose of this analysis is not to provide a firm case for or against her guilt in the situation; that much should be obvious. Instead, the purpose is to carefully review some of the statements made by the deponents with relation to those testified to Marea’s innocence/guilt. ...
the ways in which these deponents related the information they had come across, the level to which these influences are exhibited in the testimony provides ample evidence of how information was interpreted, accepted by the court, and acted upon based upon the biases of the individuals responsible for providing such testimony and the jurors beliefs as they related to the understanding and application of this knowledge. As such, the individual depositions contained strong references the beliefs in here say as tantamount to proof. This was so prevalent throughout many of the testimonies that if it were extent in a courtroom of our time it would clearly be disregarding as a clear abrogation of justice. However, to the individuals involved in the case during the sixteenth century such cultural, social, and religious norms were perfectly accepted both in society and within the court as a defining merit of their unique and peculiar society. Such inclusion of here say as a type of circumstantial evidence is noted in many court cases of the same period.2 The first of these testimonies is that of Thomas Drake. Of all the testimonies, Thomas Drakes is interesting in that it does not make any of the broad sweeping stereotypical judgments that the other deponents make in their testimony. Thomas Drakes testimony can be seen as rambling and inclusive of a lot of unnecessary facts; however, the fact remains that he appears to present the most impartial and non-aligned view of those that were sampled in the testimony that is available to draw inference upon. Although it cannot be asserted definitively, it is interesting to question whether Thomas Drake was originally born in the colonies or was one of the first settlers due to the fact that his age at the time of the testimony puts
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