8th-graders lead effort to pardon wrongly convicted ‘witch’

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BOSTON (AP) — A woman convicted of witchcraft in 1693 and sentenced to death at the height of the Salem Witch Trials may finally be exonerated in Massachusetts. Lawmakers are considering a bill inspired by a curious eighth-grade civics class that called attention to the need to formally clear Elizabeth Johnson Jr.’s name. The effort comes 328 years after Johnson was condemned. She was never executed, but she also was never pardoned like dozens of others who were wrongly accused as witches. State Sen. Diana DiZoglio says her bill was inspired by sleuthing done by a group of 13- and 14-year-olds at North Andover Middle School.

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