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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Connecticut Exonerates 12 "Witches" After Nearly 400 Years

The US state of Connecticut has exonerated 12 people convicted of witchcraft in colonial America almost 400 years ago following a campaign to clear their names.

Photo Insert: Senator Saud Anwar is joined by Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, State Representative Jane Garibay, Dr. Katherine Hermes, and Beth Caruso of the CT Witch Trial Exoneration Project at the Old State House in Hartford for a panel discussion regarding legislative efforts to exonerate those who were wrongly convicted of witchcraft in Connecticut in the 1600s.

Eleven of the accused witches were hanged after trials in the mid-1600s, with one receiving a reprieve, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday proclaiming their innocence and condemning the deaths of the nine women and two men as a "miscarriage of justice." It followed a campaign by the CT Witch Trial Exoneration Project, a group that includes descendants of some of those killed.

The group said in a statement that it was "ecstatic, pleased, and appreciative" of the senators who voted 33-1 in favor of the move.

They noted that the decision came on the eve of the 376th anniversary of the first witch-hanging in New England -- that of Alice Young. "We are grateful to descendants, advocates, historians, legislators of both parties, and many others who made this official resolution possible," said the statement.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Hundreds of people, mostly women, were accused of witchcraft in New England in the 17th century -- most famously in Salem, Massachusetts -- as the area was gripped by fear, paranoia, and superstition.

Dozens were ultimately executed. The Connecticut witch trials occurred between 1647 to 1663, ending around 30 years before the Salem witch trials. Some 34 people were indicted for witchcraft in Connecticut, according to the CT Witch Trial Exoneration Project.

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