What happened next

During the hearing many of Nurse's neighbors spoke in her behalf, vehemently proclaiming that she was a good citizen and the least likely person to engage in witchcraft. Nevertheless, she was brought to trial on the basis of spectral evidence—the girls' claim that she had afflicted them through her spirit—and the testimony of mulitple witnesses. Initially Nurse was found "not guilty," but Massachusetts Governor William Phipps bowed to pressure and ordered a second trial (see Chapter 4). Historians speculate that Nurse's deafness, a condition she developed in later years, prevented her from adequately responding to questions. As a result, in spite of her continued protestations of innocence, the jury finally concluded that she was lying and found her guilty. After being excommunicated from the church, Nurse was hanged on July 19, 1692, along with four other convicted witches.

solemn: serious heretofore: until the present time

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