Nearly 3 Centuries after the Fact, Last Salem Witch ‘Witch’ finally Pardoned

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It took 329 years, but justice was finally served in the Salem witch trial of Elizabeth Johnson Jr.

The 22-year-old woman was convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death in 1693, at the height of hysteria-driven trials of young women in the young colony of Massachusetts.

Johnson was never executed. However, she is the last of 20 individuals accused of devilry committed in Salem and its environs. In 1692, a man was crushed with rocks while 19 women were killed during the madness. Johnson was not married and had no children. This may have made her less worthy of exoneration. Johnson also had no children and no descendants that could clear her name.  

Johnson was officially pardoned thanks to an eighth-grade class that was curious.

A budget bill that was introduced by Diana DiZoglio from Methuen included the legislation and was approved on Thursday.

“We will never be able to change what happened to victims like Elizabeth but at the very least can set the record straight,” DiZoglio said.

After a North Andover Middle School civics class championed her cause, and how to follow the legislative steps to clear her name, legislators reconsidered her case.

Teacher Carrie LaPierre released a statement praising her students’ dedication.

“Passing this legislation will be incredibly impactful on their understanding of how important it is to stand up for people who cannot advocate for themselves and how strong of a voice they actually have,”She spoke.