19 May 2012

Passing Sentence: Condemned to the Fire

The Malleus Maleficarum by Kramer and Sprenger, 1489, Excerpts

And in case all should fail, then let him take note that, if she has perpetrated the like before, she is not to be altogether released, but must be sent to the squalor of prison for a year, and be tortured, and be examined very often, especially on the more Holy Days. But if, in addition to this, she has been defamed, then the Judge may proceed in the manner already shown in the case of simple heresy, and condemn her to the fire, especially if there is a multitude of witnesses and she had often been detected in similar or other deeds of witchcraft.

For in the 18th chapter of Deuteronomy it is commanded that all wizards and charmers are to be destroyed. The divine law commands that witches are not only to be avoided, but also they are to be put to death, and it would not impose the extreme penalty of this kind if witches did not really and truly make a compact with devils in order to bring about real and true hurts and harms.

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