XII.3 Continuation of the same subject

, par Stewart

The laws that send a man to his death on the deposition of a single witness are fatal to freedom. Reason requires two, because a witness who asserts and an accused who denies make a tie, and there must be a third to decide it.

The Greeks [1] and the Romans [2] required an additional voice in order to condemn. Our French laws require two. The Greeks claimed that their practice had been established by the gods, [3] but it is ours.


[1See Aristides, Oratio in Minervam [’Oration against Minerva’].

[2Dionysius of Halicarnassus, on the judgment of Coriolanus (book VII).

[3Minervæ calculus [’Minerva’s vote’].