Sir John Fortescue Quote

“I should, indeed, prefer twenty men to escape death through mercy, than one innocent to be condemned unjustly.”

~ Sir John Fortescue

De laudibus legum Angliae [In praise of English law], (c.1470)

Ratings and Comments

A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL

My sentiments exactly. In their zeal to 'win' too many prosecutors RUSH to condemn thinking they are satisfying the public's demand for 'justice'.

Steven, Scottsburg

Well said A. Jurgensen I cant help but wonder how many innocents have been murdered in our current wars because of the prosecutor in chiefs RUSH to condemn.

  • Reply
Anonymous    3/12/09

Well duh.

Mike, Norwalk

I'm in full agreement.

Logan, Memphis, TN

"If the glove don't fit, you must acquit..." ?

E Archer, NYC

Just try to get a 'fair trial' ...

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

This is childish philosophy.
What if it costs 21 guilty to be set free while insuring no innocent is punished? Or 20 thousand guilty? What if it cost half the government budget to not set any guilty free while saving the one? On the other hand, what if everyone in the community EXCEPT one; --the innocent man-- thought he was guilty? How can such a mistake harm the community? The value of law and order should NOT be to do God's work. It is to do the best it can TO INSTILL IN PEOPLE THE IDEA TO NOT DO BAD for a price that is what the people are willing to pay. That price has to include the people's belief in the justice system. Could it be that that can be achieved more economically without placing punishment as the central purpose of justice? If you consider that even justice has to do with economics, ask yourself this, how is it that such nonsense as this quote can make sense? Only with two conditions: justice equals punishment and both are to be provided for what appears to be free; with socialism. That's right our justice system, like our educational system is completely socialized. If you drop the nonsense that is this quote, agencies within the market place may spring up and from this fountain of innovation there may be discovered a better way to INSTILL IN PEOPLE THE IDEA TO NOT DO BAD.

jim k, austin tx

Walter is a bit longwinded and I still give this 5 stars.

Ron w13, Or

I can not resist, to speak on behalf of mercy, a little. In general one may identify three basic meanings of the word, which always interact: " strength," " steadfastness," and "love".
Checed, mercy, implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law.
One of Gods most central characteristics.
The truth stings Walter a bit. Five more stars for a great quote.

rick_61, Dallastown, PA

In a time where life was thought so little of...Amazing this individual had such foresight of its true value. His words echo still to this very day when it comes our judicial system.

Ron w13, Or

The Thrown is established in Righteousness !
Mercy and Truth go before the Face of God !
This can be seen clearly through illustration, which brings, illumination to the minds eye of understanding. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened.
That I may ( know ), Gesnosco, him and the power of his resurrection. Phili 3:10
The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Psalm 33:11,12
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. To deliver their soul from death. 33:18
Let every thing that hath breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 150:6
Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. 119:144

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

I don't get my answers from the other posts. The quote and posts are very similar. Sometimes when I'm a little confounded on the quote, like this one, I look at the other kids posts to get an idea what the quote means. The kids afterall are all basically the same mindset. Eliminate the death penalty.


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