Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Effective Counsel for Witches

WitchIn 1663, Mary Barnes was convicted of witchcraft for her "familiarity with Satan" and subsequently hanged for her "crimes" in Connecticut. Now, her descendant Bernice Mable Graham Telian is trying to find justice for her wrongly accused ancestor. Aided by the Connecticut Wiccan & Pagan Network, Telian is still struggling in her efforts. She has several options that she could exploit, such asking the governor for a pardon but she wants something more than a pardon. If she were to get a pardon that would only remove the sentence. Telian is seeking "a formal declaration that Mary Barnes was not a criminal." The State Legislature of Connecticut already tried to pass a resolution that would have accomplished her goals but that resolution failed. She could also ask the Governor of Connecticut to publicly apologize for the executions and exonerate the convicted witches and warlocks. Some states have already taken this option and formally acknowledged the wrongfulness of the executions. Let's hope for Bernice Telian's sake that justice is served in this case for her ancestor even if we are 450 years too late.

See John Browning, Witches Need Lawyers, Too, Dallas Blog, Oct. 24, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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