Giles Corey, Francis Nurse try to present a petition to the judge testifying to the innocence and pious character of Martha Corey (wife of Giles), and Rebecca Nurse (wife of Francis). John Proctor also, in Act 3. sc. 1, is trying to get his wife, Elizabeth, acquitted of all charges. They are not successful because their action is seen as an attempt to overthrow the court. After the rebellion in Andover, Judge Hawthorne and Danforth are wary and tell them that they need to produce the signers of the petition. Ultimately, they are unsuccessful in their attempt to save Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse.
Giles Corey and Francis Nurse interrupt the court proceedings in order to present evidence of their respective wives' innocence. The two claim that the girls who have made the accusations of witchcraft are frauds and that their wives are pious women; with the help of Proctor, they bring forth Mary Warren, who has signed a deposition claiming that she had seen no spirits.
Giles later brings forth another deposition, which accuses Thomas Putnam of using the trials as a means for financial gain. By accusing his neighbors of witchcraft, he would be able to purchase their land at a large discount. Unfortunately, these efforts are unsuccessful. Without putting forth the source of this claim, Giles is declared as being in "contempt of hearing" and is promptly arrested.