A group of eighth-grade students at North Andover Middle School in Massachusetts is spearheading an effort to secure an official pardon for a woman accused of being a witch during Salem’s notorious 1692 witch trials.

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. was accused of witchcraft and found guilty, but the hysteria ended before she could be executed. In modern times, most of the accused were officially cleared and pardoned, but Johnson, who had no descendants, was overlooked.

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) introduced legislation to clear Johnson’s name. DiZoglio says she was impressed with the work on Johnson’s case done by the class of civics teacher Carrie LaPierre.

“It is important that we work to correct history,” DiZoglio told the Associated Press (AP). “We will never be able to change what happened to these victims, but at the very least, we can set the record straight.”

The AP reported that if DiZoglio’s bill is approved, Johnson will be the last accused witch to be cleared.

During the witchcraft hysteria, hundreds of people from Salem and surrounding areas were falsely accused of witchcraft. Nineteen were hanged, and one man was crushed to death under boulders.

BREAKING NEWS

Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.


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