Justice Aphorism

18:51 Mon 27 Dec 2010. Updated: 02:24 28 Dec 2010
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“The story is told of a Chinese law professor, who was listening to a British lawyer explain that Britons were so enlightened, they believed it was better that ninety-nine guilty men go free than that one innocent man be executed. The Chinese professor thought for a second and asked, ‘Better for whom?’”

I came across this in Eugene Alexander Volokh’s “n Guilty Men”, which I was reading as a result of a longer post I was writing about the problems of dealing with allegations of rape; the question that the apocryphal Chinese professor is disingenuously raising (i.e. whether it’s really better for a society to err on the side of innocence in such matters) is quite central to issues arising out of trying to deal with rape, in evidentiary terms. I bit off a little too much in that post, which is why you’re not seeing it now.

There’s also the question of whether any kind of enforcement mechanism solves more problems than it causes, but rather than ponder that right now I’m instead pondering the injustice of my having to get up in the morning to play Twilight Imperium.

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2 Responses to “Justice Aphorism”

  1. Eugene Volokh Says:

    I’m very glad you liked “n Guilty Men,” but I’m afraid that credit for it should go to my brother Alexander Volokh (also known as Sasha Volokh), not me.

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Eugene: Thanks! I’ve corrected the attribution above.

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