Mercy Disborough Case

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The results of the trial in Stamford was that Mercy Disborough was temporarily convicted of witchcraft while Goody Clawson was acquitted. The consequences for Mercy Disborough were that despite months and jail and continued peer accusation, she was acquitted. The consequences for the townspeople are blurrier, but it is evident that persistent hysteria was not one of them. The results of the trial in Stamford were largely reigned in from the massive hysteria and mass convictions associated with contemporary witch trials by the law. Those in charge of the proceedings discussed in Escaping Salem preferred relying on physical evidence in order to make their decision, such as markings from the devil (96). Although there were a plethora of accusations and suspicions, the court tended to ignore these, refusing to “send a suspect to the gallows based on circumstantial evidence” (118). This massive restraint…show more content…
Although she ended up spending months in jail, the arguments against her conviction on the legal terms of a change in jury member were not only heard out, but accepted, resulting in her freedom. (122). Although she faced unideal consequences under the law, as the jail time and fear of execution were certainly detrimental, they were far less severe than those that would have been expected. Compared to other women accused in other areas, Disborough’s legal consequences were notably light. She did, however, face more harsh consequences from her peers and fellow citizens. Regardless of legal acquittals, the public opinion is not easily changed, and so even after attaining freedom, Mercy Disborough found herself facing consequences from the people of Connecticut, including defamation by James Redfin (127). Such attacks, however, were conquerable through the law yet again and still paled in comparison to what could have befell Disborough in a less careful legal
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