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Lenient Slant in Criminal Justice System

The noted English jurist Sir William Blackstone said "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." This is the view that if the criminal justice system produces a wrong verdict, that the system is weighted toward making the error on the side of letting a guilty defendant go free rather than convicting an innocent person. The numerous protections found in the Bill of Rights for those charged with criminal offenses seem to demonstrate this slant in the criminal justice system.

Do you agree with this philosophy? Why or why not?

Give 2 reasons that support your answer.

Solution Preview

I do agree with the statement based on the reasoning that it creates more harm to punish an innocent person than to let a criminal free that should be convicted. The main issue is that when we wrongly convict an innocent person, the liberty and freedoms taken away from the person that has been wrongly accused basically ruins the person's life, and can be very severe, depending on the nature of the crime that the individual is wrongly accused of committing. A second reason would be that when we let the guilty go in error but convict those that are innocent, it sets a standard that those who "may or may not" be guilty will go through the criminal justice system in the same way that a person would, that is guilty. We ...

Solution Summary

This solution gives a detailed explanation based on the following statement: Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.

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