Letter: A free and just society
“It is better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.” This statement is known as Blackstone’s ratio and it is the very basis of a free and just society. Unfortunately, I have seen this idea fall under attack in our country lately in defense of the concentration camps and by the Trump administration. This should scare us as a nation because historically, dictators have taken the opposite view. Notorious dictator Pol Pot is known to have remarked that it is better 100 innocent people be punished than one guilty person go free.
I have also seen this used as a defense of the Trump administration’s unlawful detention of 18-year-old American citizen Francisco Erwin Galicia. I have heard many people say things like, “mistakes happen,” “when you are arresting so many people this is bound to happen,” and “ICE can’t be perfect.” We as a moral and principled nation should be shocked and speaking out against this event. It is instances like this which destroy a free and just society. We must stand up and be heard. Because “it is better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.”
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