Two girls lye sleeping, one with her eyes open, the other with her eyes closed. Not such an unusual picture except for the fact that the two sleeping girls cannot awake. A mysterious servant from a faraway place, a group of young ladies seeking magic to joins their hearts with the men that haunt their dreams. A man of the cloth who stumbles onto a secret dance in the middle of the forest who will spend the next year of his life harboring secrets and trying desperately not to be exposed. The town of Salem sucked into the vacuum of conspiracy, accusations, innuendo and the horrifying fact that maybe Lucifer has come to make a house call. They say that truth is stranger than fiction and if this story wasnt a dark shadow on our nations history it would make for a great novel. But if it was the truth and for those who where there, a horrible reality. This community so caught up in the possibility that witchcraft existed, they completely lost their senses. The following is a breakdown of all the legal issues that by todays standards where not followed.
Out of all the issues that will be addressed, this one is the most difficult. In the 1600s, the church was interwoven with the state and the operation of government. Enter Reverend Hale a scholar of witchcraft. Unbeknownst to everyone, a novice at his trade; a person trying to gain status in the new country. The power of life and death lay in his hands, by his words a person could be deemed a witch and suffer the consequences. It was Rev. Hale who was the fuel that lit the fire. The first amendment clause of the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Although this country was founded in a belief of god and morality, the intent was never to have the church involved with the judiciary. The justices would not assemble in Salem, Massachusetts until Reverend Hale found proof of witchery. And by the words of a child, and with a desire he found find what he sought, witchcraft was found in Salaam and the justices where assemble. With a hidden agenda and his life and position at stake, Reverend Parris joins to support the movement this helps fire the furnace and gain support for the movement.
Freedom of Speech, Expression & Religion
Although not of majority, Abigail and her group of Satin worshipers where denied by her uncle and the community their right to free speech. The very essence of being an American, the right of free speech and worship as granted by the first amendment of the Constitution. Amendment I Section 12 protected the girls right to practice the satanic ritual. The country as whole was not allowed to practice whatever religion they choose.
It started with the whipping of Tituba the servant and ended with the offering of anvisty to Proctor or any other citizen who admitted to the practicing of witchcraft. False witness statements, Hearsay and forced confession all took place. Reverend Parris beat his servant until she admitted guilt and participation in the practice of witchcraft she was anvisty when she then pointed the finger at Abigail. This was the mayhem that started to grow. As others where accused, the accused pointed to another. Statement of falsity became statement of fact. It became a case of freedom exchanged for defendants.
As stated in the Due Process clause of the Constitution, all people are entitled to Due Process. This includes, a right to an attorney, the right to have the attorney present during questioning, a right to remain silent, a right to have an attorney appointed if you can not afford one. This whole concept completely thrown out the window during the witchcraft trials. The complete process went a rye from the beginning. With a grand jury never seated to hear evidence and testimony to find basis for a case, the case went forward. Three justices where empanel to hear the case, but most importantly there was no jury of the defendants piers. This right is granted in the United States Constitution