Giles Corey was no saint. In 1676 he beat to death an indentured servant named Jacob Goodale. Since corporal punishment was permitted against indentured servants, Corey was exempt from the charge of murder, and instead charged a fine for using "unreasonable" force.
Corey was originally accused of witchcraft for defending his accused wife Martha. He was a hard, stubborn man who may have expressed criticism of the witchcraft accusations.
Corey was accused with evidence that he was seen at a witches' sacrament, he was torturing the girls and forcing them to write in his book, and he had killed people before, which was the only true fact, but in legal procedures, the past can't be used to determine guilt, but there was no real evidence. All the evidence held against him was about the past, spectral evidence, or simply unproven statements.
Giles knew that if he went to the trial, he would be convicted because the jury had already determined his guilt, and the girls were flaunting around the fact that Corey was a "dreadful wizard."
Giles knew there was no chance of being found innocent, and decided not to go to trial at all. Giles was ruled as standing mute and given "Peine forte et dure": Death by pressing, a procedure deemed illegal by the government for two reasons: there was no law permitting pressing, and the Puritans considered it barbarous punishment. This brutal, illegal form of punishment convinced even more people that the accused might actually be innocent.
As a result of his refusal to plead, on September 17, 1692 Giles Corey was subjected to the procedure by the Sheriff but he was steadfast in his refusal, nor did he cry out in pain as the rocks were placed on the boards. After two days, Corey was asked three times to enter a plea, but each time he replied, "More weight!," and the sheriff complied. Occasionally, the sheriff would even stand on the stones himself. A witness later said:
"In the pressing, Giles Corey's tongue was forced out of his mouth. The Sheriff, with his cane, forced it in again." Giles Corey's last words was a final request for "More weight!".
Due to the gruesome and very public nature of Corey’s death, it is said to have caused many Salem residents at the time to rethink the witch trials.
Giles Corey died September 19, 1692. He was 80 Years old.