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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 174 of Michael Huemer’s excellent 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority:

When the justice of a law is controversial, it is better to err on the side of freedom than on the side of restriction.  Perhaps some just laws would, unfortunately, go unenforced.  But the reduction in the number of people wrongly punished under unjust laws would more than compensate for this disadvantage.  It is widely held that it is better for ten guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to be punished.  If this is true, then it is also better for ten people to fail to be convicted under just laws than for one person to be convicted under an unjust law.  Our present system, however, errs very much in the opposite direction: even when the moral status of a law is in doubt, police officers, judges, and juries almost always enforce the law without question.