Exploring the Evidence Used at Salem

The Salem Witch Trials Podcast

What do you think of when you hear the term ‘witch hunt?’ 

While the phrase has decidedly become loaded over the years, it often conjures up visions of angry mobs with torches and pitchforks. The Salem Witch Trials were most certainly a witch hunt, and decidedly unjust, but it’s important to remember that they were also actual trials with judgements that were handed down based on testimony, evidence and other time-tested methods of adjudication.

So, how could the system of failed so badly?

To help us understand this important question, we’re joined by Jane Campbell Moriarty, the Carol Los Mansmann Chair in Faculty Scholarship and Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Professor Moriarty is an expert on evidence, neuroscience and law, and legal and judicial ethics, and she has studied and written about the evidence used during the Salem Witch Trials. 

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