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, go, off
References in periodicals archive ?
He further added that it has become a norm that culprits of the state owned enterprises gets off scot-free at the expenses of the majority poor employees.
So if the victim is a nobody, or is very poor, it is that easy to pay off their families, and the offender gets off scot-free? Isn't a criminal complaint titled: People of the Philippines vs.
This indeed was important so that no innocent person is implicated while the genuine culprit gets off scot-free. As the first phase has been completed with the arrest of the culprit, it is now time that exemplary punishment is awarded to the serial killer through a speedy trial as in the presence of scientific evidence, there is no reason to prolong the trial.
(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.
And Mr Dean gets off scot-free. No demotion, no censure - nothing.
Why should he take the rap for David's mistakes and go to prison while David gets off scot-free? David cannot bear to think what would happen if Katie finds out that her knight in shining armour was actually the cause of her brother's death.
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.--Elizabeth Matson.
Even the attacker gets off scot-free, escaping a life lesson that one must be held accountable for his actions.
Is it fair to levy a tax on someone who owns a house worth PS2m while the man whose house is worth PS1,999,999 gets off scot-free? Is it fair to tax someone who has poured their all into their home instead of spending it on holidays or booze or fine art?
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. Many survivors become resentful, angry, addicted or depressed simply because the person who has abused them does not face any negative consequences," said Botes, suggesting it's important to talk and get it out of the system.
"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.
Why should her career be ruined, yet he gets off scot-free? Unless these kids are punished there w o n 't b e a n y teachers left brave enough to take them on.
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.