Which is worse?

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Tolgash
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#1
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I asked this question on Instagram recently, and I want to see your guys' verdict.

Which is worse out of these two: letting a guilty person go, or punishing an innocent person?
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ashtolga23
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#2
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I still can't decide between these oh my gosh. I think I lean towards letting a guilty person go just because of the reoffending risk (see: Anthony Arkwright for a terrible example). However, if I knew that they wouldn't do any further damage to people then obviously punishing an innocent person seems worse. I guess I see protection and rehabilitation as the main aims of punishment rather than pure retribution. Having said all of this, it would somewhat depend on the circumstance, for instance women who kill their abusers are technically guilty of crimes, but I wouldn't mind letting them go nearly as much as other criminals.

Complicated issue haha.
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DiddyDec
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Punishing an innocent person.

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." - Blackstone's Ratio

It is this maxim that gave rise to the development of "beyond reasonable doubt" a corner stone of modern criminal law.

Interestingly it is said that Bismarck stated the opposite "it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape" and the Communists in China during the 1930s uprisings stated "Better to kill a hundred innocent people than let one truly guilty person go free". Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge stated "better arrest an innocent person than leave a guilty one free".
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Wannabevetnurse
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(Original post by Tolgash)
I asked this question on Instagram recently, and I want to see your guys' verdict.

Which is worse out of these two: letting a guilty person go, or punishing an innocent person?
They're technically equals. If you punish the innocent person, the person who committed the crime (the guilty one) is let go.
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skatwotone
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(Original post by Tolgash)
I asked this question on Instagram recently, and I want to see your guys' verdict.

Which is worse out of these two: letting a guilty person go, or punishing an innocent person?
I reckon that punishing an innocent person is worse because there is always the chance that the guilty person could be found guilty for another crime and get punished enough to compensate for evading punishment before.
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Tolgash
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
Punishing an innocent person.

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." - Blackstone's Ratio

It is this maxim that gave rise to the development of "beyond reasonable doubt" a corner stone of modern criminal law.

Interestingly it is said that Bismarck stated the opposite "it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape" and the Communists in China during the 1930s uprisings stated "Better to kill a hundred innocent people than let one truly guilty person go free". Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge stated "better arrest an innocent person than leave a guilty one free".
PROSM! Voltaire would also agree with us!
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mspaghetti
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(Original post by Tolgash)
I asked this question on Instagram recently, and I want to see your guys' verdict.

Which is worse out of these two: letting a guilty person go, or punishing an innocent person?
punishing an innocent person
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by skatwotone)
I reckon that punishing an innocent person is worse because there is always the chance that the guilty person could be found guilty for another crime and get punished enough to compensate for evading punishment before.
That leaves more unnecessary victims though, no?
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Tolgash
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(Original post by Wannabevetnurse)
They're technically equals. If you punish the innocent person, the person who committed the crime (the guilty one) is let go.
Interesting, but are you punishing anyone innocent if you let the guilty person go?
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Wannabevetnurse)
They're technically equals. If you punish the innocent person, the person who committed the crime (the guilty one) is let go.
You are assuming that someone is always guilty, take a self defence case for instance.

A person kills a burglar in self defence but they are wrongly convicted of murder.
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mspaghetti
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(Original post by Tolgash)
Interesting, but are you punishing anyone innocent if you let the guilty person go?
OP what are they even guilty of?
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skatwotone
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
That leaves more unnecessary victims though, no?
Potentially, but perhaps not, they may be blamed for something else they did not actually do.
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Qxi.xli
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(Original post by Tolgash)
I asked this question on Instagram recently, and I want to see your guys' verdict.

Which is worse out of these two: letting a guilty person go, or punishing an innocent person?
Easily the latter.
What's the point of the justice system if we're punishing the wrong people? And how would that be fair?
Last edited by Qxi.xli; 2 months ago
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Tolgash
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(Original post by mspaghetti)
OP what are they even guilty of?
Any crime.
Last edited by Tolgash; 2 months ago
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