get off scot-free

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get off scot-free

To escape punishment for a crime or wrongdoing; to be acquitted of charges for a crime. Mark's wealthy senator uncle influenced the jury, and he ended up getting off scot-free. My younger sister caused endless trouble as a child, but because she was the baby of the house, she usually got off scot-free.
See also: get, off

get off/go ˌscot-ˈfree

(informal) escape from a situation without receiving the punishment you deserve: It seemed so unfair that she was punished while the others got off scot-free!This idiom comes from the old English word sceot, meaning a ‘tax’. People were scot-free if they didn’t have to pay the tax.
See also: get, off
References in periodicals archive ?
This indeed was important so that no innocent person is implicated while the genuine culprit gets off scot-free.
3) If one confesses and the other does not, the confessor gets off scot-free and the non-confessor gets the maximum punishment of five years.
Despite the setup for disaster, with the suspicion of Lulu's parents, boss, rival moonshiners, and the authorities, Lulu gets off scot-free, her college dreams intact, through an unsatisfying deus ex machine device.
Even the attacker gets off scot-free, escaping a life lesson that one must be held accountable for his actions.
A lot of eyebrows have been raised when the accused in a well-publicized kidnapping case gets off scot-free while Navy officers found innocent by police investigators are held liable for murder by the same appellate court.
It's worse when they believe they can't tell anyone about it, because then there's this injustice - the abuser gets off scot-free.
It speaks to how this country works right now that we saw such a giant investment in resources and huge amount of concern directed at the occupation while Wall Street gets off scot-free," Berger said.
Even if Oregon gets off scot-free, that $25,000 payment to Lyles is going to wind up costing much more.
He obviously can't understand why he has to suffer his mother while his dad gets off scot-free.
But when it comes to overwhelmingly important but potentially extremely embarrassing matters of state such as allegedly ``sexed-up'' dossiers on Iraqi weapons capability, or the reliability of top-level intelligence, everyone gets off scot-free.
If odds are offered on a two-runner event, how is it fair that a layer may be required to pay tax but a backer gets off scot-free, when you consider that they are, in effect, one and the same?
But if a cop does it to your van he gets off Scot-free.
In other words, Cuomo could be rebuked while Clinton gets off scot-free.
On the other hand, if I were on that jury, I would find it painful and inconsistent with justice to send a soldier to prison and completely destroy his life while his commander in chief gets off scot-free with similar behavior and about half of the people in this country seem to think it's OK.
If Touvier, with blood on his hands, gets off scot-free, then the two members of the establishment whose trial for collaboration is always being postponed Rend Bousquet and Maurice Papon, wartime police officials in Paris and Bordeaux) can assume they will die quietly in their homes-unless there is an outcry provoked by this shameful verdict that forces the highest court of appeal to reverse it very fast.