Monday, July 10, 2006

What do we do with Witches? - Pardon Them!

From Foxnews: Woman Accused of Witchcraft in Virginia in 1706 is Pardoned
It took 300 years, but Virginia's only convicted witch has finally been pardoned.

State Gov. Timothy M. Kaine was asked to exonerate Grace Sherwood, who was tried by water and accused of using her powers to cause a woman to miscarry. On Monday, the 300th anniversary of Sherwood's "ducking" trial, Kaine obliged....What happened to Sherwood after she was convicted is unclear. Some court records may have been lost to fire.

She weighed more than a duck and was therefore...a witch! (Ok, not that kind of ducking, but the Monty Python possibilities with this post are about endless)

Unlike in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, the authorites and mob of people who had been turned into newts were apparently not too hot to burn this witch - even after she had been convicted, as history shows she lived long past the trial:
She may have been jailed until 1714, when records show she paid back taxes on her property, Ferry Plantation House director Belinda Nash said. She then lived quietly until her death at 80.

Its certainly nice to see we can eventually get around, 300 years later, to pardoning people convicted of witchcraft and rectifying a rather embarrasing historic legal wrong.

No comments: