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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Law Students and Faculty to Put Thomas Putnam on Trial for His Role in Salem Witch Trials

October 5th, 2014

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

By Sarah Clinton

WHAT: The Historical and Theatrical Trial Society (HATTS) at the University of Missouri School of Law will present a historical mock trial, “Salem Witch Trials: The Trial of the Accuser,” during which Thomas Putnam will be tried for his involvement in the Salem Witch Trials and the resulting executions.​ The Salem Witch Trials, which occurred from February 1692 – May 1693, resulted in 96 convictions, 10 condemnations and 20 deaths.

HATTS, which is made up of MU law school students and faculty, is dedicated to exploring the intersections of law, history and theatre. Each year, the society conducts a mock trial and applies modern law to the facts of a historical event never tried in its own time.

The trial, which is neither scripted nor rehearsed, will be conducted by faculty members at the law school. The prosecuting and defense attorneys, equipped solely with witness statements and evidence, must argue their cases without advance knowledge of the opposing side’s strategies. MU law professor Chuck Henson will lead the prosecution, opposed by MU associate professor Ben Trachtenberg in defense of Thomas Putnam, who will be played by professor Frank Bowman.

WHO: MU School of Law faculty and students

WHEN: 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5

WHERE: Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St., Columbia MO

NOTE: This event is free and open to the public.