That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.
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Source Notes: Source: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785.The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 9, p. 293 .He was echoing Voltaire, that generous Maxim, that tis much more Prudence to acquit two Persons, tho actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent.Zadig, chapter 6, p. 53 .Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, 9th ed., book 4, chapter 27, p. 358 , says, For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 April 17, 1790) was one of the most prominent of Founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States. Considered the earliest of the Founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and diversity of interests. His wit and wisdom is proverbial to this day. More than anyone he shaped the American Revolution despite never holding national elective office. As a leader of the Enlightenment he had the attention of scientists and intellectuals all across Europe. As agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during, he more than anyone defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was decisive for American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod; he invented the notion of colonial unity; he invented the idea of America; historians hail him as the "First American". The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will mark Franklin's 300th Birthday in January 2006, with a wide array of exhibitions, and events citing Franklin's extraordinary accomplishments throughout his illustrious career.
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