19th-century Judge Quotes
In a criminal proceeding the question is not alone whether substantial justice has been done, but whether justice has been done according to law. All proceedings in poenam are, it need scarcely be observed, strictissimi juris; nor should it be forgotten that the formalities of law, though here and there they may lead to the escape of an offender, are intended on the whole to insure the safe administration of justice and the protection of innocence, and must be observed. A party accused has the right to insist on them as matter of right, of which he cannot be deprived against his will; and the Judge must see that they are followed.
Would we hold liberty, we must have charity- charity to others, charity to ourselves, crawling up from the moist ovens of a steaming world, still carrying the passional equipment of our ferocious ancestors, emerging from black superstition amid carnage and atrocity to our perilous present.
While unconstitutional exercise of power by the executive and legislative branches of the government is subject to judicial restraint, the only check upon our own exercise of power is our own sense of self-restraint. For the removal of unwise laws from the statute books appeal lies not to the courts but to the ballot and to the processes of democratic government.