Similarities Between The Scottsboro Trials And The Salem Witch Trials

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Imagine one day being wrongfully accused of a crime and sent to jail without a fair trial or even a proper representative in court. That seems a little unjust, does it not? Unfortunately, many people in the past were imprisoned and killed for crimes they did not commit like in the Salem Witch Trials or the Scottsboro Trials. Even though the Salem Witch Trials and Scottsboro Trials were over two-hundred years apart, there are many similarities between them. Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems. The Salem Witch Trials began in the year 1692 when several young girls in Salem, Massachusetts were acting so strange that they were believed to be under a witch’s spell (Schiff). When confronted, the girls began accusing others of practicing witchcraft (Schiff). Many people were soon accusing others or being accused of witchcraft; they were being accused for various reasons such as unexplained illnesses, failed crops, or a woman could even be accused if she could open something a man could not (Brandt, p. 38). As stated in Anthony Brandt’s article, An Unholy Mess, “Legally, spectral evidence was not grounds for convicting a witch. The judges in Salem, however, accepted it…” This implies that many people were being convicted on illegal evidence. They could be spared if they confessed but confessions were very rare (Brandt, p. 42) (Schiff). The fear of the Devil walking freely among Salem
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