Prosecution and Judicial system on Witches Essay

Published: 2019-10-10 05:29:57
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The central Europe was full of panic and rumors about witch and witchcrafts during it early modern period. Witch-hunt dragged the society into conducting trials so as to torture and even death or execution to those who are believed to be a part of the witch crafting practices. About this statement, it is stated that the rate of women who are executed or those who are believed as witches are mostly on females (Levack).

As Levack wrote to his observations data, the age of the women inclined in witchcraft were those who are older than that of a 50 year-old. He also conducted a survey on regional studies and figured out that there were indeed estimated about 110,000 witch trials (Levack). Levack paid his focus on the recorded conducted trials instead of focusing on the executions made. He explained that among all those trials for the witch cases, there have been about 48% which definitely resulted into execution that makes about 60,000 of witches who died (Levack).

Levack stated that this prosecutions and torture-making were made for the alleged practices of doing a believed harmful magic and that people on those period believed that witchs practices is done to worship the darkness or the devil (Levack). In Levacks book, he mainly focused on the events where the witch-hunting started. He explained that that witch-hunting is an act in which certain hunters hunt those individuals who are believed to be involved in a certain magical secret kinds of activities (Levack).

Levack discussed that the main cause of this hunting activity is the multi-casual approach, which sought the innovation of new ideologies about such witches and the changes is judicial system. These two innovations brought severe changes in religious aspect and also aroused a lot of tension to the society (Levack). The ideology of the hunts are based on such that witches were the individuals who had a certain pack with the devil therefore they are involved in such practices that is considered as barbaric.

Witchcraft is conceptualized as an evil act into which the power and magic came from the devil whom they worship as everyone believes (Levack). According to Levacks discussion through his work, certain individuals would sell their own souls to Satan in order to obtain a good life or which they considered as the gift of well being. In addition to this, witches are believed to have a Sabbath where they tend to give praise and worship to the devil. They are also said to be an organization which people believed in of doing infanticide incest practices (Levack).

Another that contributes to the basis of the hunters is the idea that witches do fly, this idea or belief came from the peoples assumption that witches fly in order to attend to their Sabbath meetings without being noticed (Levack). The kind of prosecution made in England and the role of women being the witnesses is considered as a process of cultural complexity according to Holmes. He discussed that the popular beliefs are the harmful factors which implies that a certain woman is involved in witchcrafts (Holmes). The elites in the year 1563 created a system of prosecution against witchcrafts.

The victims then had the opportunity to prosecute their assailants through the constructed systematical procedures of the judicial court (Holmes). According to Holmes, there are two distinctive ways for a certain witness to testify as a victim of witchcrafts such as they could directly testify that they are possessed into which they would say that they are controlled by the devil through the crafts of the witch and secondly, assumed victims could report sought physical searches that will be an evident or proof of the witchs connection with the devil (Holmes).

In both ways the accused will be subjected into the belief that she is indeed a witch and is inclined with witchcrafts. This is supported by theologians and lawyers who state that women are more susceptible or vulnerable of temptation which will cause them to tend to involve themselves to a pact with the devil (Holmes). In addition to this, Clive Holmes said that the women witnesses rose up from 38 to 53 percent during the last existing years of Queen Elizabeth. This indicates that women are the ones who contribute actively in creating negative reputations among others by making gossips (Holmes).

Discussion As the hunt went through continuously in the 16th century, the system of jurisdiction reduced clerical means of jurisdiction and focused more on the secular concerns. The reason for this change is the definition of the witchcraft as a mean of secular crime (Levack). These said factors led to a high rate of witch hunting in Scotland hence other countries obtained a reduction in the number of cases to be prosecuted because of the ecclesiastical means of jurisdiction over the crime (Levack).

There were said to be complex types of hunts which is brought during the time where witch-hunts were made in Europe, the small hunts in Europe basically focuses on seeking for malefactors, the medium type consists of at least five to ten victims, and the large hunts consists about ten to hundred witches which caused an explosion of panic and hysteria (Levack). According to Levack, there are there are four certain relatively factors to this witch-hunt. The first one depends on the nature of the witch beliefs in a certain place or region with the consideration on the strength to which they were being held (Levack).

The second factor is the intensity of hunts. It is explained that not all countries execute torture method. Lastly, is the extent where the central judicial officers have their control to each trial (Levack). Conclusion In my own understanding witch-hunt, malice accusations, tortures, and executions are not justified by the early England periods basis which is considered gossips or hearsays. I am not convinced about the foundation of the witch-hunt act because they do not provide an accurate reason or evident for them to do such an act against a certain person who is accused of being witch.

Basing on Holmes work, a certain witness could just testify that a certain person is a witch and therefore make that person be subjected to court trials, another is that whenever a person testify that the accused is having a certain mark or physical searches which will prove that she is a witch then she is believed to be a witch and will also be subjected to trials or worse is execution. This kind of basis as the primary foundation in witch-hunting is generally an immoral act and a lack-of-evidence case into which people experienced hysteria and panic for a reason that is not reliably true or considered as alleged case.

Therefore the explanations about the reasons of the outburst of witch-hunting is definitely cruel, lack of consideration, and inhumane act against fellow human beings who are accused but unproved of being a witch and practicing certain witch acts.

Works Cited

Holmes, Clive. Women: Witnesses and Witches Witch-Prosecutions in Early Modern England. 1993. Kaplan, Steven Laurence. Understanding Popular Culture: Europe from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century. 1984. Levack, Brian P. The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe 2006. Sharpe, J. Instrument of Darkness: Witchcraft in England 1550-1750.

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