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Surname 1 Name Professor Course Date American Legal History Research Paper Introduction Salem Witch Trials although an occurrence which took place more than three centuries ago, its influence and significance are still felt to this day. The events that took place in 1692 always invoke perception of religious bigotry, justice miscarriage, and persecution among people who seek to understand and interpret what took place (Brekus, 154). The fascination of the trials is attributable to the fact that there is no single finite explanation made through the years and which is accepted universally as a concise account of the event. Since the occurrence of the witch trials in the small hamlet of Salem, Americans have historically called upon Salem as a warning to their leaders and other members of the general public to be cautious and make sure that they do not take action which is bogus and unsubstantiated (Brekus, 154). The purpose of this legal research is to determine the significance that the witch trials had as a miscarriage of justice and the impact they have had on the nation’s legal system. Background The events that took place in Salem are traceable to the existence puritan teachings and law in England and which were spread and embraced by theologians, community leaders and
Surname 2 religious leaders within communities in the new colonies scattered across the modern-day United States. In January 1962, a young girl who was residing in the household of a local minister, Samuel Parris was observed as behaving weirdly (Pavlac, 95). The observation prompted the locals to question the young girl on why there was a drastic change in her behavior and which was becoming widespread in the community, with other girls of a similar age experiencing hysteria, babbling incoherently and getting fits. A local doctor who had been summoned to examine the girls and make a diagnosis of their condition was the first to raise concerns that the girls were under the control of an evil hand (Pavlac, 95). The allegations made by the doctor saw the community leaders as well as the general public which was becoming alarmed by the occurrence, pressure the girls into naming the individuals who were bewitching them (Pavlac, 95). The young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 accused several women among them Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and a Caribbean woman called Tituba (Condé, & Philcox, 33). The three women were distinctive in that they had through their stay in the Salem Village come to be known as outcasts since they had limited interactions with the other residents, helping cement the accusations made against them. The church leaders were strict observers of Puritan theology, and they encouraged the locals to make sure that they place their devotion before their wrongdoing, to make sure that they did not end up in hell for eternal damnation (Condé, & Philcox, 33). The trials of the three women were therefore meant to make sure that the residents understood that

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