ABSTRACT

This chapter talks about the Burgundian judge and demonologist Henri Boguet presented a series of articles regarding the proper procedure for trying witches. Recognizing witchcraft as an excepted crime, Boguet gives the judge sufficient latitude to prosecute witches successfully, including permission to arrest an alleged accomplice named by only one other witch. Witchcraft is a crime apart, both on account of its enormity, and because it is usually committed at night and always secretly. Therefore the trial of this crime must be conducted in an extraordinary manner, and the usual legalities and ordinary procedure cannot be strictly observed. Judges have been known to extract the truth from witches by means of a promise of impunity, yet have not failed to put them to death afterwards. This practice is used by many today, and it seems to be approved by the common opinion of the Doctors of Civil Law.