Modern-Day Witch Hunt • An intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence. (Dictionary.com)
Brainstorm Examples • With your North partner, brainstorm modern examples of “witch hunts” and take notes on the following: • Perceived Threat (Who was feared) • How were they identified? • What evidence was used against the accused? • Who (person or group) led the “witch hunt”? • What methods were used to eliminate the perceived threat? • What was the effect of the “witch hunt”?
The Examination of Sarah Good Transcript from 1692 • Transcript: a written record of spoken language • Court Proceedings • Speeches • Interviews • Sarah Good • Known in Salem for being socially unpleasant • Was the first to testify in the trials, likely because the town would support the court’s efforts to get rid of her • Refused to confess, was found guilty, condemned to hang after the birth of child Dorcas
Bias in the Courtroom Bias: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another • Objectivity (antonym): lack of bias, judgment, or prejudice Loaded Language: words or phrases that are intended to inspire emotion in the reader or listener. • Connotation: Words with strong emotional associations • Denotation: a word’s literal or primary meaning
Loaded Questioning • Loaded Questioning: Questions that make unwarranted presumptions or that force a certain answer. • Helps interrogators sway answers in their favor
Example of Loaded Questioning Which is an example of loaded questioning? Do you think the people should help fund government programs through taxes? Do you think the government should be allowed to steal your money to fund useless programs?
Other Examples Should concerned dog owners vaccinate their pets to prevent illness and disease? Most Americans prefer to purchase products manufactured in the United States. Do you prefer to purchase products manufactured in the United States?
Read the Transcript Pg. 155 Questions for Discussion: • Do the court officials have a fair-minded attitude toward Sarah Good? How do you know? • How is the courtroom in Salem 1692 different from our modern-day court system? How does this have an effect on Sarah Good’s case? • Why would Sarah Good accuse Sarah Osborne? • Why does Sarah Good lie? What does she lie about? How does her lie hurt her case? • Why did the officials think the girls were going into convulsions in the courtroom? Why did they really do this? • Why might her husband have testified against her?