More than three centuries later, Connecticut is the last state refusing to issue apology or posthumous pardons for those put to death during the time when laws based on the Bible held sway in America, Religion News Service writes:
At age 82, Bernice Mable Graham Telian doubts she’ll live long enough to see the name of her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother and 10 others hanged in colonial Connecticut for witchcraft cleared.
Telian was researching her family tree when she discovered that her seventh grandmother, Mary Barnes of Farmington, Conn., was sent to the gallows at the site of the old State House in Hartford in 1663. “You won’t find Mary’s grave. She and all these people who were hanged were dumped in a hole. They wanted them to be forgotten,” said Telian, a retired university administrator.
Connecticut was executing suspected witches some 40 years before the infamous (and better known) trials in Salem, Mass. Scores of others were put on trial until witchcraft was no longer listed as a capital crime in the state in 1715, according to state records. But unlike Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia, Connecticut has yet to acknowledge those sent to the gallows.
In 2008, Telian wrote to Connecticut lawmakers when a resolution was introduced in the General Assembly to acknowledge the witch trials. Lawmakers heard testimony from historians and descendants of executed witches, but the measure died. There was even an earlier effort to get the victims pardoned, but the state Board of Pardons and Paroles said it doesn’t grant posthumous pardons.
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