Montesquieu

One of the abu­ses of this tri­bu­nal is that, of two per­sons who are accu­sed of the same crime, the one who denies is sen­ten­ced to death, and the one who confes­ses avoids exe­cu­tion. This is drawn from monas­tic notions, where the per­son who denies appears to be impe­ni­tent and dam­ned, and the one who confes­ses seems to be in a state of repen­tance and is saved. But such a dis­tinc­tion can­not inte­rest human tri­bu­nals : human jus­tice, which sees only acts, has only one pact with men, which is that of inno­cence ; divine jus­tice, which sees our thoughts, has two, that of inno­cence and that of repen­tence.