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Examining The History And Influence Of Witch Trials

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Every Witch Way: Examining the History and Influence of Witch Trials

Witchcraft was a crime no one should want to be charged with. It was something people were afraid of, it was heinous, it was truly evil. In most communities, it was one of the worst crimes you could ever be accused of. Many countries no longer consider witchcraft to be a crime, although some countries such as Saudi Arabia and Uganda still consider it a serious offense even to this day. The focus of this piece, however, is to discuss how countries like England and Sweden handled witch trial cases, how that may have influenced the townspeople of Salem, and how some Salem trials worked. The English had been hearing witchcraft cases for centuries before Salem. But, to no surprise, it was very hard to actually prove anyone committed the crime. “The crime of witchcraft presented an especially excruciating challenge. It was regarded as one of the most heinous crimes, yet, being clandestine by nature, it was extremely difficult to prove. The scarcity of eyewitnesses and direct physical evidence highlighted the need for innovative mechanisms of proof” (Darr, p. 3). The secret nature of the crime itself makes it hard to prove, which is one of the reasons that no one could ever successfully accuse someone of witchcraft today with the modern judicial system. But the English had devised experiments and tests to determine someone’s guilt. Like most of the ways of attempting to pull out a confession in those days,
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