It appears that Reverend Hale is trying to save the day. If the people accused of witchcraft do not confess to witchcraft they will be hanged. Danforth will not listen to anyone. He has already sent so many people to their death that he feels he cannot change anything. He is just too prideful and arrogant.
Knowing this, Reverend Hale is trying to get the prisoners to confess so that they will not die. He feels that not confessing and losing your life is a bigger sin than lying and keeping the precious gift of life. I do hope that people will confess. I could not bear to watch Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey hang because I know that they are innocent and good women. I hate to say it, but I wish Proctor would also confess and spare his life. We shall see what happens. Right now no one is quite sure of anything.