What unusual evidence was allowed in the Salem witch trials?

It was virtually impossible to disprove charges of witchcraft in Salem, and defendants were convicted with no evidence other than personal accusations, the presence of a “devil’s mark” on their bodies, or because they failed one of the so-called “witch tests.” The courts accepted spectral evidence, that is, evidence …

What type of evidence was allowed during the Salem Witch Trials?

Courts relied on three kinds of evidence: 1) confession, 2) testimony of two eyewitnesses to acts of witchcraft, or 3) spectral evidence (when the afflicted girls were having their fits, they would interact with an unseen assailant – the apparition of the witch tormenting them).

What was ironic about the Salem Witch Trials?

The irony is that none of the accused Salem witches who confessed were convicted or executed but all 19 people who refused to confess were found guilty and executed. … The accused witches quickly figured out by watching the early trials that a confession could spare you from the gallows.

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When was spectral evidence allowed in the Salem Witch Trials?

Yet, in 1662, Sir Matthew Hale solidified the legal credibility of spectral evidence in witchcraft cases by allowing it in the Bury St. Edmund case in England, thus setting a precedent to be used at Salem in 1692.

Were there any reliable sources presented during the Salem Witch Trials?

The primary sources of the Salem Witch Trials offer a wealth of information on these infamous trials. These sources include official court records as well as several books, diaries and letters written by the various people involved in the trials.

What is special evidence?

“Spectral evidence refers to a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared to him/her witness in a dream at the time the accused person’s physical body was at another location. It was accepted in the courts during the Salem Witch Trials.

How was physical evidence considered in the trails?

Second, physical evidence was considered. Any birthmarks, warts, moles, or other blemishes were seen as possible portals through which Satan could enter a body. Witness testimony was a third consideration. Anyone who could attribute their misfortune to the sorcery of an accused person might help get a conviction.

Does Rebecca Nurse confess to witchcraft?

Rebecca herself does not confess to witchcraft and stands by as a witness to Proctor’s “confession” and ultimate denial of his confession (p. 129-134).

How could an accused witch escape from execution?

An accused witch can escape from execution by accusing another witch. Elizabeth Proctor condemns herself by confessing to witchcraft. Rev. Parris becomes uneasy about the executions when his daughter is condemned.

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Why would someone refuse to confess to being a witch?

Why would someone refuse to confess being a witch? A person would confess because the punishment for denying is to be hung and they most likely didn’t want to die. A person could refuse to confess because they wanted to preserve their self respect.

What is speculative evidence?

Speculative Evidence. Speculative Evidence. The argument draws a conclusion form an assertion about what the evidence would show, if one were actually to look at it; however, the argument appeals to evidence that has not actually been collected or does not actually exist.

When was spectral evidence used?

Spectral evidence is a form of legal evidence based upon the testimony of those who claim to have experienced visions. Such testimony was frequently given during the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries.

What is spectral evidence Salem witch trials quizlet?

Spectral evidence – refers to a witness testimony that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared. Key element of the Salem trials that was permissible evidence in court. Court of Oyer and Terminer. Court established by Phips in order to hear the trials.

What were the Salem witches accused of?

The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic—and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.

What are some possible causes for hysteria in Salem?

Causes for the Outbreak of Witchcraft Hysteria in Salem

  • Strong belief that Satan is acting in the world. …
  • A belief that Satan recruits witches and wizards to work for him. …
  • A belief that a person afflicted by witchcraft exhibits certain symptoms. …
  • A time of troubles, making it seem likely that Satan was active.
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