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Salem Witch Trials (1692) - Essay Example

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The trials took place in the colonial Massachusetts, and by the end of the trial, approximately twenty eight people, most of them women had…
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Salem Witch Trials (1692)
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Download file to see previous pages The concept of white magic had been inherited from Britain, where the colonists who migrated to North America continued to practice their white magic, as a way of protecting their agriculture, wealth and property, just as it used to happen back in Britain. However, towards the end of the fifteenth century and running into the sixteenth century, religion became an important aspect of the North American colonists, and the traditional white magic which was initially common in the society became black magic in the eyes of the religious converts (Reed, 2015). Subsequently, any traditional aspect t of the magic became witchcraft, and those practicing the magic became evil and satanic. Thus, the Salem Witch Trials (1692) were purely informed by the rise of religious extremism and social anxiety, which did not tolerate what the society referred to as the non-believers (Reed, 2015). Therefore, the non-believers were targeted and branded witches, and their fate was sealed through a series of trials, which condemned most of them to death or long-term prison sentences.
The legal issue identifiable in the Salem Witch Trials (1692) is the due process of the law. The major issue of law in this case is the issue of misapplication of the due process of the law, which requires that an accused should only be charged based on evidence that is beyond reasonable doubt (Rissanen, 2012). Reasonable doubt was present throughout the process of identifying the accused, presenting witness statements and charging them in court, but the process of sentencing them continued anyway. Spectral evidence was the sole basis of determining the cases in the Salem Witch Trials (1692), where the powers of the accused to use shapes and specters that tormented the young girls in the village, which could not be proven or identified in any way, was the basis of charging the accused (Yool, 2007). The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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