Prior to the statement by Danforth, Mary Warren, the Proctor’s house help and one of the girls claiming to have been bewitched confesses to John of the conspiracy and pretense behind the witchcraft accusations. At the time, Rebecca Nurse, Mrs. Corey, and Elizabeth are in custody after being accused of witchcraft. Francis, Giles, and John approach the court to try and clear their wives. They seek to present Mary’s deposition, testifying that she had seen no spirits. However, Danforth rejects the signed deposition.
According to Danforth, the girls are innocent, equating their claims to “the voice of Heaven”. Despite all the evidence pointing to the fact that the girls are acting and engaging in a conspiracy, Danforth seems certain that the claims of witchcraft are true. The statement demonstrates Danforth’s prejudice and ineptness in conducting a fair hearing, which also speaks to his qualification as a judge. Further, the statement suggests that the fate of the accused is already sealed and any attempts to clear their names would only commit those defending them to the same fate.