Famous American Trials

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Famous American Trials 1) Salem Witchcraft Trials a) Defendants: Betty Paris, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, and many other citizens b) Charges: Supernatural activity in the Salem, Mass. Area. c) Results: “From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft Charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended.” -- http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/sal_acct.htm 2) Burr Conspiracy Trial d) Defendant: Aaron Burr e) Charges: Burr was supposedly creating an independent nation within North America comprised of farmers and military men mainly. f) Results: Because of lack of evidence, Burr was released and proved not guilty. 3) Amistad Trials g) Defendants: African Slaves upon the Schooner Amistad h) Charges: Murder of their ship’s captain and cook. i) Results: Because they were kidnapped illegally and the slaves were acting in a way to preserve their freedom, they were released back to their home country. 4) Sacco-Vanzetti Trial j) Defendants: Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti k) Charges: Murder of two men during a shoe store robbery. l) Results: The men were found guilty and appealed many times. They were finally sentenced to death almost six years later. 5) Scopes “Monkey” Trial m) Defendant: John Scopes n) Charges: Violation of Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach the concept of evolution in

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