Statement of Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project, May 26, 2023

A year ago today on May 26, 2022 the Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project was born out of frustration and sorrow that the stories of unjust witch trials in Connecticut resulting from fear, panic and misogyny were not acknowledged. A year later, on the eve of the 376th anniversary of the first witch-hanging in New England, that of Alice Young of Windsor, the Connecticut State Senate almost unanimously voted to adopt our resolution. This followed a bipartisan vote for the resolution in the CT State House on May 10th.

Our group is ecstatic, pleased and appreciative for the 34 indicted witch trial victims, 11 of whom were hanged, their descendants, and many others who care about justice. The special timing is incredible and helps us to honor the victims today. We would like to thank Representative Jane Garibay who helped us since July of 2022 and Senator Saud Anwar who joined with our efforts in January of 2023. We are grateful to descendants, advocates, historians, legislators of both parties and many others who made this official resolution possible.

In addition, we hope that attention to this resolution which acknowledges the wrongs of witch trials in the past will bring awareness regarding deadly witch hunts still happening in many parts of the world due to fear, misogyny and superstition.

Even though the resolution has passed, our Exoneration Project will continue to advocate for historical education and memorialization of the witch trial victims

While others have passed legislation to clear the names of people who suffered from witch trials, House Joint Resolution 34 is unique in many ways. The resolution acknowledges the innocence and suffering of the victims and includes a formal expression of empathy, in addition to officially correcting the historical record and naming all who suffered including all indicted victims and those convicted to death by hanging.

22 responses to “Statement of Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project, May 26, 2023”

  1. As a descendent of Alice (Alse) Young, I am grateful to the Senate, the house, and the governor of Connecticut, for passing this resolution to exonerate and apologize to the victims of the religious persecution of Connecticut citizens, accused of witchcraft. To all the advocates who have brought this conclusion about, I, and my fellow descendants will be forever grateful. Your work has been diligent and so encouraging. Thank you!


  2. My ninth Great Grandmother Elinor Knapp, can finally rest in peace. She and the others have been ruled innocent. I like to thank all involved. History will now record that a terrible wrong has be recognised. God grant Elinor eternal peace.


  3. Many thanks to all who helped with the exoneration of the innocent victims of the Connecticut witch trials and hangings. – The descendants of Rebecca Greensmith


  4. While I am glad the lawmakers of Connecticut finally exonerated the 34 victims, what took them so long? I mean this happened nearly 400 years ago. It shouldn’t have taken nearly 400 years to figure out there is no such thing as witch craft. Kudos to those who pushed for this and I hope this provides some relief to their descendants. I just wish the Connecticut lawmakers did this a few hundred years earlier or better yet, realized back in the 1600’s that there was no such thing as witchcraft.


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