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Published:January 15th, 2007 11:36 EST
Should the Witch be Pardoned?

Should the Witch be Pardoned?

By Krista Belles

Helen Duncan lived during World War II in war torn London. She was a medium who practiced her craft all throughout England. During the war, Duncan successfully predicted the sinking of two English ships long before they actually sank. She also told the parents of a missing sailor that his ship, the HMS Barham had sunk. To preserve morale, the sinking of the HMS Barham was not announced at the time.

Duncan was arrested and found guilty of witchcraft charges. Officials, who were afraid Duncan was a spy, jailed the woman for nine months. Winston Churchill was quoted as calling the arrest "tomfoolery."

Mary Martin, Duncan's 72-year-old granddaughter, is actively seeking to receive a pardon for her grandmother's arrest and conviction. She vividly remembers being mocked on the school ground, being called "witch's spawn." She has involved the support of Britain's Home Secretary, as well as Gordon Prestoungrange, holder of a medieval Scottish barony. Prestoungrange has gained international attention to the case with his website, www.prestoungrange.org/helenduncan/. The attention of the Witch Museum in the Massachusetts town of Salem has also been caught, and the case has gained momentum in the US because of their support.

Martin is calling for the pardon because she feels the time is right. Other "war crimes" such as cowardice have long been pardoned. The English government has also apologized for their role in slavery and the slave trade. Martin feels that the government should offer a pardon for her family member, who was the last convicted witch.