Connecticut might absolve 'Witches'





After more than 300 years, the Connecticut residents accused of witchcraft finally might be vindicated thanks to what began as a school project.

State legislators took up the issue Thursday of Connecticut's witch trials, the result of efforts by 14-year-old Addie Avery and her mother, Debra Avery, descendants of a Hartford woman accused of witchcraft and probably hanged. The judiciary committee discussed a resolution that would absolve the approximately 40 residents accused of practicing witchcraft in the mid- to late-17th century.

Clearing the names of the victims of Connecticut's witch hysteria has been a project of the Averys, who live in Washington, Conn., since they learned a few years ago that they are directly related to Mary Sanford, one of the accused.

Because all but two of those executed were women, the Averys and Cayer also see the resolution as a women's rights issue.
Debra Avery has also said that the topic is close to her because of her family's spiritual beliefs, which she describes as pagan.

If the resolution gains full legislative approval, Connecticut would be the third state — after Massachusetts and Virginia — to clear the accused of wrongdoing.


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