The Laws Against Witchcraft More Than Likely A Huge Impact On The Number Of Executions

786 Words Dec 5th, 2016 4 Pages
These laws against witchcraft more than likely had a huge impact on the number of executions in England. The 1604 law by James I legally requires that a person accused of witchcraft is given full legal processing and must be convicted in order to receive any form of punishment for the crime of witchcraft. Just by looking at how lenient the laws were with first time offenders; we can see that this leniency probably cut back on deaths. The lack of individual economic gain through witchcraft accusations was a possibly a factor in the rates of accusation and execution. Since people didn’t stand to gain anything economically, there was no point of going through all of the legal work to get somebody arrested on witchcraft charges when that person could accuse you while you testified against them. The continent of Europe however was different in property seizure laws, the laws of individual countries in Europe allowed for individuals to gain economically, socially, and politically simply by accusing somebody of witchcraft.
In England, witchcraft had become a felony offence which is rather significant in how it affects the number of executions. Since witchcraft was a felony offence, that made the crime into a secular matter for the courts of common law to deal with. English courts had a system that, compared to most European countries at the time, probably allowed a higher rate of survival for the crime of witchcraft. Witches were allegedly tried the same as common criminals, and…

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