Thursday, July 13, 2006

But...but...She Weighed the Same as a Duck!

I give my home state a lot of grief around here, so in the interest of balance I started writing a post about something bizarre that just happened in my current home commonwealth (that one’s for Flop. If I had called Virginia a state, he would have had to post a transatlantic comment to correct me).

But, in the end, I’m now officially scared out of my wits.

Anyway, it turns out that my governor, Tim Kaine, pardoned a witch on Monday. Yes, this past Monday, July 10, 2006. Pardoned a witch.

Wait, I have to be able to find a better witch picture than this...
Apparently, 300 years ago, a woman named Grace Sherwood from Pungo, just south of Virginia Beach, was the only person in Virginia history who was ever convicted via a “witch ducking trial.” And what is a witch ducking trial? I’m glad you asked. In a witch ducking trial, the accused’s thumbs are tied to her feet (and for good measure, a 13-pound bible is tied around her neck), and she is tossed into a river. If she floats, she’s a witch. If she does not, she’s innocent, although, obviously, she has other problems at that point. Well, Grace apparently wriggled out of the ropes underwater and swam back to the surface, at which point she was sent to prison. She was eventually released, but remained a convicted witch until she was pardoned on Monday, in a nice little proclamation by Governor Kaine.
"With 300 years of hindsight, we all certainly can agree that trial by water is an injustice," Kaine wrote.
Well, yeah, but remember, the Bush Administration is still in charge. We may be back to this stuff sooner than you think. In fact, aren’t they already doing it at Gitmo?

Now that's more like it...

But, this brings me to why I’m so scared. This, also from the article about the pardon:

Sherwood beat back most of the accusations -- she was hauled into court at least 12 times -- but what finally did her in was the discovery of two moles on her upper ody. "This was evidence that she was in league with the devil," Nash said. "So she agreed to be tried by water."

As it happens, I also have two moles on my upper body. Even worse, I have two moles on my face. That, coupled with a government in the throes of religious hysteria, not exactly tolerant of those who dissent, and generally predisposed to show trials (speaking of which, excellent work, Supreme Court) and inhumane punishments has me more that a little scared.

At the very least, I won’t be taking a vacation to Virginia Beach.


Tommy O said...

wait a minute... Samantha Micelli is a witch???

Der Flopenmeister said...

Very small rocks!