Trials and sentencing
Thousands of trial transcripts and related documents have been preserved to record the day-to-day judicial work of the various inquisition tribunals. Though most remain in unique manuscript copies held by major national or ecclesiastical collections in countries of origin as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Mexico, exemplars of several documentary types are also available in the McDevitt Collection.
Among the most fascinating and disquieting episodes in inquisition history are the tens of thousands of trials in which accused individuals or reos faced questioning, sometimes torture, and ultimately sentencing (when found guilty) at the hands of inquisitorial functionaries. Such exercises in the judgment of heretical behavior were after all [Read the complete essay]
Relación de los méritos del... [Cuenca]: 1596; 1600; [?]. Inquisition 118
Spanish. Summary of 1594 trial, with secret evidence of numbered witnesses. Ana was condemned to death for Judaizing practices, with sentence commuted after reconciliation at a 1596 Auto de fe to confiscation of goods and perpetual prison. The document notes she was a good prisoner and recommends further commutation; a marginal note declares she was released in 1600. A later transcription of the document is included.
Josef Nuenta Escalante, Jose Manuel Calderon et al Diligencias contra el Reo A... Santiago Compandaro [Cupandaro], Valladolid: 1798-1799. Inquisition 125
Spanish. Inquisitorial trial of Atanasio de la Cruz, Indian of Copándaro, near San Luis de Potosí (Mexico), for having made a pact with the devil. The trial began in Copándaro (1798), but was later moved to the episcopal seat of Valladolid [Mexico]. Multiple documents in multiple hands, with signatures of several inquisition officials. De la Cruz was absolved and released in July 1799.