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 ?
If you name them then the ones that aren't named might think they are getting off scot-free," he said.
The only real winners are the car makers who despite misleading customers about their cars' real emissions and causing this mess in the first place are getting off scot-free.
Unaccountability, impunity and getting off scot-free are infused into the very genes of this country.
But for the bad language, he'll be getting off scot-free, it seems.
STUDENTS are cheating their way through endof-school exams - and getting off scot-free - an Irish Sunday Mirror investigation can reveal.
If there's no way of getting off scot-free, map out your babysitting seshes so they're fun for you, too.
I can't bear that the person who is responsible for all of this - who is the commander-in-chief - is coming to my country and getting off scot-free.
And it looks like the bankers are getting off scot-free and ordinary working people and those who can't best look after themselves are going to have to be the people who carry the bill for it.
In addition, the unwealthy deadbeats would have to repay--no more getting off scot-free to start anew.
Otherwise the culture of bullying and intimidation that is presently engulfing the criminal justice system will lead to yet more offenders getting off scot-free.
But the real culprits in this scandal - the city and county elected leaders who enabled him - are getting off scot-free.
Law's after-match comments were in stark contrast to his programme notes in which he said: "The players that are making mistakes have been getting off scot-free.
The chairman has been criticised for not sacking me, I'm getting criticised for the results but the players who are making the mistakes are getting off scot-free.