Theme Of Justice In The Crucible

1058 Words 5 Pages
Justice is the act of fairness and reasonability. In a court, it is the basis of all trials and determines a defendant’s end result. If justice is not carried out, it can cause an innocent person to be prosecuted. The Constitution is what dictates the fairness, claiming that all men have given rights at birth. It gives freedoms of speech and petition, protection against self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishments, and establishes the idea of innocent until proven guilty. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a play involving the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, the court led by Judge Danforth is determining the sentencing of accused witches in their town. The court fails at carrying out justice in these cases because the judge's childishness …show more content…
A magistrate should stay unbiased during the trials until he comes to a decision using careful consideration. Danforth does not act in this way, but rather in a childish manner while dealing with court proceedings.While Martha Corey pleads to the court, “ I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is. Hathorne twists her plea of innocence into a confession of guilt asking, “ How do you know, then, that you are not a witch” (1132). In the courtroom, Parris and Hale are trying to convince Danforth to postpone the hangings of Martha, Rebecca, and John due to their strong reputations in the town and the townspeople's disapproval. Danforth, knowing they're right says “ I cannot pardon these when twelve already hang for the same crime” in defense of the court's reputation (1158). As Giles Corey explains that he knows someone who had heard Mr. Putnam talking about accusing others of witchcraft for their land, Danforth asks him for the name of that man. When Giles refuses, Danforth threatens him saying “I have no choice but to arrest you for contempt of this court, do you know that?”. Giles a man who has been in court on numerous occasions knows that it would be illegal, informs Danforth that“ This is a hearing; you cannot clap me for contempt of a hearing”. Danforth not getting his way, childishly replies “ You are a foolish old man. Mr. Cheever, begin the record. The court is now in session” …show more content…
However, this evidence is admitted one-sided. This leaves the defendant with no way to prove their innocence and the plaintiff is left with the entirety of the power. When a court believes the acceptance of this type of evidence, there can be hidden agendas behind every accusation coupled with the fact that it’s not direct evidence. When Hale challenges Danforth’s acceptance of only the accuser's testimony, Danforth argues that witchcraft is “ by nature an invisible crime” and “ who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim”, “ Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims” (1140). Many times Abigail submits spectral evidence to the court. When Tituba is proclaiming who she saw with the devil, Abigail joins crying out “ I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” and the girls soon follow

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