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Petitioners Seek Pardon For Executed Witches

A group in London plans to petition the British government for a posthumous pardon for the hundreds of people executed for witchcraft between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The head of Angels, a large costume shop in London, is leading the effort and said she believes it's time to put the associations about witches and Halloween to rest. The group has created a website to collect signatures for their petition and had about 200 signatures this morning.

Around 400 suspected witches were executed in England and some 4,000 in Scotland, according to the group that worked with a historian to research cases they hope will motivate the government to act.

The cases include a woman who offered cures in Essex, England in the 1500s, but was accused of having "uneven results," and a woman who was jailed for begging for food and then accused of having shaky hands that suggested she was "tormenting someone."

A Scottish group took a separate petition to the Scottish parliament last month.


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