In America, the Salem Witch trials are well known. However, people were executed for witchcraft in other places, such as England. There have been recent attempts to get pardons for those convicted long ago of witchcraft in England.
While there has been support for the pardons, the official position is this: “To receive a royal pardon, the test is a high one. Evidence must prove conclusively that no offense was committed or that the applicant did not commit the offense. It is not enough that the conviction may be unsafe — the applicant must be technically and morally innocent.”
Given this standard of being technically and morally innocent, there seem to be four main options regarding the pardons.
First, the state can take the position that witchcraft is literally real (magic, deals with Satan and all that) and that the witches were punished for an actual crime. Hence, there are no grounds for pardon. It would, of course, be interesting to see the proofs offered for the reality of witchcraft.
Second, the state can take the position that witchcraft is not literally real but that the witchcraft allegedly practiced by such people was a crime and hence they were not technically and morally innocent.
Third, the state can take what seems to be the obvious position. Since there seems to be no evidence that witchcraft is real, it follows that those convicted of witchcraft had to be both technically and morally innocent. After all, convicting someone for witchcraft would be like convicting someone of being a unicorn. As such, those convicted of witchcraft should now pardoned.
Fourth, the state can regard the matter as not being important enough to be worth the effort to go through the pardon process. After all, those involved have been dead a long time and a pardon can do them no good.