Aftermath of the Salem Trials

After the prisoners awaiting trial on charges of practicing witchcraft were granted amnesty (pardoned) in 1693, the accusers and judges showed hardly any remorse for executing twenty people and causing others to languish in jails. Instead they placed the blame on the "trickery of Satan," thus freeing themselves from any sense of guilt. Jurors and townspeople also managed to maintain a clear conscience by claiming that, after all, many victims had confessed to their "crimes" and that the Salem, Massachusetts, community had been tricked by the devil. Yet families who had lost loved ones and property during the trials were expected to go on with their lives as if nothing had happened. Their attempts to regain social standing and receive financial compensation through formal legal channels took several years.

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