Giles Corey comes to the court with Francis Nurse and John Proctor. All three men have wives that have been accused, and beyond their desire to exonerate them, they want to try to get the magistrates to consider what might be driving the spurious accusations that have resulted in so many arrests.
When Judge Danforth reads Giles's deposition, he tells Thomas Putnam, "He states that you coldly prompted your daughter to cry witchery upon George Jacobs that is now in jail." Putnam denies Giles's accusation, and when Giles is pressed for proof he says, "I have it from an honest man who heard Putnam say it! The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she'd given him a fair gift of land." When he is pressed by the judges to give the name of the man who heard Putnam, Giles will not cooperate. He understands that the man will be brought to the court and likely arrested, and Giles does not want that on his conscience.
Because Giles is steadfast in his refusal to name the man, he is arrested for contempt of court and subjected to torture. He ultimately dies at the hands of the corrupt officials who attempt to literally press the truth from him.